Concussions in Professional Football

It’s a new year and we have a new podcast to add to the growing collection of CJSM podcasts which can be found on our main website [or, better yet, by subscribing to our podcast feed on iTunes].

Our guest this month, J. Scott Delaney M.D., is an Associate Professor and the Research Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill Sport Medicine Clinic in Montreal, Canada.

Scott Delaney, M.D.

He is also the physician for several university and professional teams, including the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL).  In that role, he headed research on concussion awareness among professional football players, work that has just been published in the January 2018 issue of CJSM.

The study has already received considerable media exposure as it sheds light, at the highest level of play, on the behavior and motivation of athletes to report possible concussions.

Listen to the podcast conversation we just had with Dr. Delaney.  Find out why, when it comes to concussions, “It takes a village to make the diagnosis.”  And, as ever, join in the emerging conversation about this work by making comments on this blog or going to our Twitter feed and chatting up @CJSMOnLine



In the News

CFL Players line up in a Grey Cup Game. Photo: Wikimedia

The year has begun and our first edition of the 2018 journal has published: the January issue marks the beginning of our 28th year focusing on the publication of original research in the field of sports medicine.

One of the highlights of this issue is a study of 454 Canadian Football League (CFL) players:  “Why Professional Football Players Chose Not to Reveal Their Concussion Symptoms During a Practice or Game.”

The lead author of the study, J. Scott Delaney MDCM is an associate professor and research director at the department of emergency medicine, McGill University Health Center, in Montreal Canada.  He has published frequently in CJSM on the topic of concussion, including a 2015 study looking at what factors influenced university athletes to report (or not) symptoms of concussion in practice or games.

In this study, he and his team focused on a different population: professional CFL players. Dr. Delaney is already being approached by media outlets for his opinions on what the study results mean for CFL players in particular, and for all athletes in general. This very day he has an opinion piece published in The Globe and Mail, often considered Canada’s national paper of record.

One of the vexing issues in contemporary sports medicine is the failure of recognition of concussion when it occurs on the field of play.   Read more of this post

In honour of the Grey Cup

Series 975 - Primary photographs of Gilbert A. Milne & Co. Ltd.

Celebrating with the Grey Cup

The Grey Cup, the ‘Super Bowl’ of the Canadian Football League, is being contested this evening in Vancouver. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats face off against the Calgary Stampeders, and it promises to be an exciting contest.

We are proud of the diverse background of our many contributors to this peer-reviewed journal, who range from academics to clinicians who are ‘in the trenches.’ One of those on the front-lines is David Levy, M.D., the Medical Director for those Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

His piece from the 2012 CJSM, on a ‘risk-tolerance approach’ to assessing athletes undergoing a pre-participation evaluation (PPE), is always worth a read; perhaps never more so than in light of our most recent CJSM piece on advancing the PPE.  While you’re at it, catch our podcast conversation with William Roberts, lead author of that new PPE statement.

And then sit down to enjoy the Canadian football action.  Good luck to Dr. Levy’s Tiger-Cats, and good luck to their opponents, the Stampeders, as well.

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog

This month’s Editorial in CJSM by Levy and Delaney highlights the issue of the role of the Team Physician in the process of the Preparticipation evaluation.

Team Doctors are often called upon to make a decision about the suitability of an individual for return to play. In this role, the burden of responsibility for the decision making process is likely to lie with the clinician, at least in the first instance, whether or not the team manager and the player decide to follow their advice.

Few would argue that the clinician is best placed to make a definitive ‘medical’ decision on return to play decisions since they are likely to have the most educated opinion about decisions related to the health of the player within the team environment. However, the question of where the responsibility should lie with the ultimate decision made is a contentious one.

In the context of…

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