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Published on March 10, 2014

Dean & St. Mary’s Janesville to Educate Hockey Families on Concussions

Focus is on prevention and identification

JANESVILLE, WI – St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital, Dean Clinic and the Janesville Jets are teaming up to offer a free seminar on sports concussion prevention and management by Dean Clinic sports medicine specialist Deanne Eccles Rotar, M.D., and Janesville Jets coach Erik Largen. There will be educational materials for athletes, coaches and parents, and appearances by members of the Janesville Jets and Dean Clinic’s very own Crash Helmet.

The free event will be held at 5-6 p.m., Friday, March 14, at the Janesville Ice Arena, 821 Beloit Ave., Janesville. Staff from St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital will be giving away free stocking caps and key chains to fans attending the 7 p.m. Janesville Jets game as well. To register for the seminar, call 373-8345 or email sara_knilans@ssmhc.com.

Head impacts and concussions caused by contact sports are an increasing cause of concern for young athletes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports show that the number of reported concussions has doubled in the last 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 years old has doubled, and concussions have risen 200 percent among teens ages 14 to 19 in the last decade.

When left undetected, concussions can result in long-term brain damage and may even prove fatal. To protect young athletes, it’s critical that coaches, players and parents are aware of the dangers of contact sports and how to properly perform a concussion evaluation.

High school football accounts for 47 percent of all reported sports concussions, with 33 percent of concussions occurring during practice. After football, ice hockey and soccer pose the most significant head health risk. The concussion rate for boys’ ice hockey is 54 injuries per 100,000 athletic exposures.

Some facts about concussions from the CDC:

  • 3,800,000 concussions reported in 2012, double what was reported in 2002.
  • 33% of all sports concussions happen at practice.
  • 39% -- the amount by which cumulative concussions are shown to increase catastrophic head injury leading to permanent neurologic disability.
  • 4 to 5 million concussions occur annually, with rising numbers among middle school athletes.
  • 90% of most diagnosed concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness.
  • An estimated 5.3 million Americans live with a traumatic brain injury-related disability.

The Jets concussion event is a component of St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital’s focus on injury prevention. St. Mary’s emergency department physicians provide advice on injury and accident prevention on the radio show, “Stay Healthy, Rock County,” on WCLO (AM 1230) every Thursday at 11 a.m.

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