Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention
Youth football is not as safe as NFL wants you to believeToday's edition of USA Today has an important story on youth football and the spin that the NFL wants to place on safety. You can read my comments quoted in the story and the story by clicking here.
Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention
Concussion Management Protocol For Schools-Webinair
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is offering a free webinar: From the Desk of the School Nurse: How to Implement A Concussion Management Protocol.
Time and date: Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (EDT)
Overview: The presenter, Patricia McLaughlin, RN, will focus on the importance of taking a multi-disciplinary team approach to concussion management and how best to implement a concussion management protocol in a school district setting. Patricia McLaughlin is a parent and a registered nurse with 25 years of experience. She is a current member of the staff at Albany Medical Center Coronary Care Unit. Mrs. McLaughlin also works as a full-time school nurse at Pine Bush Elementary School K-5, where she has been for 6 years.
For more information, please click here
Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Publications, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Coma Recovery
The Crash Reel-An important message on the life long consequences of traumatic brain injury
I had the pleasure of viewing in preview, a new HBO documentary, The Crash Reel exploring the life and brain injury sustained by American snowboarding champion, Kevin Pearce which will debut on Monday, July
15th at 9 PM eastern time, 8 c on HBO.
As an advocate for persons with a brain injury, I appreciated the compassionate approach to the subject matter. The treatment of Kevin as a person with a brain injury, rather than a brain injured person is a very important message for members of the public. Kevin does not allow his brain injury to define who he is. He is an inspiration to anyone who has sustained a traumatic brain injury.
The stages of the film depicting Kevin’s journey are quite helpful to an understanding of the transitions that an individual and their family members go through following profound brain trauma.
This film will make a very important contribution to the understanding of traumatic brain injury in the minds of the public.
The filmmakers have launched a comprehensive traumatic brain injury awareness and outreach campaign called #LoveYourBrain and the Pearce family has started the Kevin Pearce Fund to support families and individuals
affected by traumatic brain injury and other challenges.
For more information on the documentary, visit their face book site.
Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention
Set the right example-wear a helmet while bicycle riding
Next time you ride a bicycle, wear a helmet!
New statistics from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons show bike accidents were the cause of 86,000 sports-related head injuries in 2009. Football accounted for 47,000 head injuries, and baseball accounted for 38,394 head injuries.
Bicycle riding was the leading cause of head injuries among kids under age fourteen.
Part of the reason for the greater number of individuals suffering brain trauma while riding a bicycle is that there are more persons who riding a bike then playing football or baseball. Bicycle riders also face great dangers of being struck by a motor vehicle and many fail to wear a helmet. Studies show 90 percent of bicyclists killed in the United States in 2009 were not wearing helmets
According to Safe Kids USA, helmet use can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent and severe brain injury by 88 percent.
Helmets are not just for children. While eight states, including New York State and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use for children, adults also need to wear helmets.Protect your brain and set the right example-- wear a helmet while bicycle riding.
Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Prevention
New research to develop novel traumatic brain injury imaging technology
Traumatic brain injury research received an important boost this week as a result of a $60 million joint initiative between the National Football League (NFL) and General Electric (GE) whose aim is to develop novel imaging technology and other tech-based approaches to aid in the prevention, detection and management of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussions.
The theme of a video shown at a joint news conference was “the better we understand the brain, the better we can protect it”.
Hopefully the research that is developed will enable scientists to better understand the effects of trauma on the brain and brain functioning.
According to NFL Commissioner, Goodell, the primary aim of the initiative is “better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of brain injury”. He admitted that “there is a lot more to do” and that any way to “speed up” the process to “develop new technology to better protect the brain” would be in the best interests of all players– but also younger players in high school, college and those much younger”.
The project will proceed in two parts. The first part will involve a $40 million research project led by GE to better diagnose mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), and to predict the outcomes over time. The second phase will focus on materials and structural design of equipment (helmets) to protect the brain from impacts.
Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Publications, Brain Injury Rehabilitation
National Brain Injury Survey from Sarah Jane Brain Foundation
The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation (SJBF) and CE Outcomes have announced a national survey to identify gaps in services and research dealing with brain injury.
This is a joint effort during Brain Injury Awareness Month to understand the current state of brain injury across the country and across two different clinical populations (youth/developing brain and adult/developed brain).
The survey will investigate the differences in services between “Mild” TBI/concussions and moderate to severe brain injury. In addition, the assessment will analyze across the continuum of care from prevention to acute care/rehabilitation services to reintegration/long-term care. The online survey is being hosted by CE Outcomes and can be accessed by clicking here.
“This survey will include physicians, psychologists, educators, allied health professionals, and most importantly families and brain injury survivors across this country,” said Dr. Ron Savage, President of SJBF and author of the survey. “We will have data from thousands of voices to better understand the gaps in services that impact the lives of millions of people. Those voices will be heard.”
Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues, Current Affairs
CDC webinair explores disability issues
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering a webcast: Public Health Grand Rounds: Where in health is disability? Public health practices to include people with disabilities
Time and Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm (EST)
Disability and health is the next topic at the CDC’s highly regarded Public Health Grand Rounds. The work of NCBDDD’s Division of Human Development and Disability and its network of partners (including the Ohio Disability and Health Program [ODHP] and other state grantees) will be featured through this broadly visible venue that reaches public health professionals, health care providers and others around the world that are interested in CDC’s work.
To View the Live Webcast:
To view the live webcast on Dec. 18, please click here
Note: The webcast links are only active during the date and time of the session, but all sessions are archived for future viewing. Grand Rounds archives are found here
Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention
In support of the Brain Injury Association of America
As an attorney who devotes his practice to representing those who have suffered traumatic brain injury, I believe it is important that the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) be recognized for its leadership on behalf of persons with a brain injury and their families.
The Brain Injury Association of America is the nation’s oldest and largest brain injury advocacy organization and is the acknowledged voice of brain injury on Capitol Hill and in the media. BIAA’s mission is to advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment and education, and strives to improve the quality of life for all individuals affected by these injuries.
BIAA is governed by a 21-member volunteer Board of Directors, representing a cross-section of individuals with brain injury, family members, researchers, clinicians, attorneys, educators and other members of the community. The association is managed by a seasoned president/chief executive officer, Susan Connors, with 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and has dedicated more than half of her career to the field of brain injury.
Susan and I have worked closely over the years for the benefit of brain trauma victims. She has been a steadfast supporter of my efforts, the efforts of my law firm, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP and the efforts of other brain injury attorneys to insure that brain injury victims have full and unrestricted access to the courthouse and full and fair compensation for injuries caused by careless, reckless and negligent conduct.
The leadership of the Brain Injury Association of America takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously. Since 2004, the Association has continually operated in the black, allocating any year-end surplus to reserves and has published its annual tax returns on its website.
At the close of the year, it is important that we review and acknowledge some of the important and recent contributions of the Brain Injury Association of America in brain injury awareness, prevention, legislative efforts, outreach and education:
• BIAA expanded enrollment in its National Brain Injury Information Center, a nationwide call center that automatically routes callers to affiliates. Trained specialists answered nearly 40,000 individual requests for help and earned a 98% satisfaction rating.
• BIAA attracted an average of 46,938 unique visitors per month to its website, placing the site among the top non-sponsored sites when searching the term “brain injury”.
• BIAA built an on-line forum for individuals with brain injury to share their expertise with one another; the forum receives 32,000 hits per month.
• BIAA unveiled a new campaign for Brain Injury Awareness Month in March, Brain Injury: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone, with the supporting message: Brain Injuries do not discriminate and worked with the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force on Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill.
• BIAA placed advertisements in NFL Preview, a publication of USA Today, in eight major media markets, to educate the public about all of the ways brain injuries are acquired, as part of its new “Someone You Love” initiative.
• BIAA worked closely with Congressional Quarterly Researcher on a 24-page monograph on brain injury, assisted Bloomberg News in its investigative journalism and was quoted in the national press almost 1,000 times in 2012.
• BIAA received accolades for its 32-page, 4-color news magazine, “The Challenge!” which is published quarterly and features inspiring stories of individuals with brain injury and family caregivers, valuable information on federal advocacy and updates from affiliates.
• BIAA’s Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) processed over 1,500 applications from licensed professionals and direct service workers who voluntarily demonstrated their knowledge, experience and commitment to caring for individuals with brain injury by earning an internationally-recognized credential. There are now over 5,000 certified specialists in the U.S.
• BIAA arranged monthly educational webinars in the Mitch Rosenthal Memorial Research Lecture Series, David Strauss Memorial Clinical Lecture Series and Caregiver Seminar Series, attracting over 2,000 viewers throughout the year.
• BIAA hosted executives from the nation’s leading brain injury rehabilitation and long-term service provider organizations at the 7th Annual Brain Injury Business Practice College to provide education on, among other topics, influence and change, ethics in the business of rehabilitation, working with third party payments, best practices, and business metrics.
• BIAA partnered with Allergan, Inc. to educate individuals with brain injury and family members about upper limb spasticity as well as with Avanir Pharmaceuticals about pseudo bulbar affect, which is an uncontrolled emotional outburst.
• BIAA collaborated with Mount Sinai School of Medicine in a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research grant to prepare a policy brief on best practices for identifying children with brain injury and transitioning them to school and community.
• BIAA actively lobbied for favorable regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act –those involving mandatory benefit categories and non-discrimination provisions – and prepared advocates to implement healthcare reform at the state level.
• BIAA worked to reauthorize the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act, the only federal legislation that addresses scientific research, data collection, public awareness and service system access for civilians with brain injury, furnishing testimony at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing in March on “A Review of Efforts to Prevent and Treat Traumatic Brain Injury.”
• BIAA called on Congress to fully fund the TBI Act and to provide sufficient resources for the TBI Model Systems of Care, 16 research centers located across the U.S. that contribute to the only non-proprietary, longitudinal database on consequences of brain injury. The Model Systems are a key source of evidence-based medicine and serve as a proving ground for future researchers.
• BIAA furnished critical information and insight to the Agency on Healthcare Research and Quality on its study of post-acute rehabilitation of moderate to severe TBI and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on home and community-based services for individuals with brain injury.
• BIAA actively participated with eight Washington, D.C.-based coalitions, including the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, Trauma Coalition, Medicare Therapy Caps Coalition, Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition, Campaign for Public Health, Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation, and the Coalition for Regenerative Stem Cell Medicine and served on multiple advisory boards and task forces to advance the Association’s goals.
• BIAA acquired a robust management information system, allowing the Association to efficiently and effectively communicate with constituents, conduct e-commerce, receive and acknowledge donations.
• BIAA received a generous in-kind donation of Cisco System telephone equipment to support its National Brain Injury Information Center.
• BIAA received a restricted grant to support developing awareness and fundraising activities with affiliates, including a nationally-branded Walk for Brain Injury and Race for Brain Injury.
• BIAA launched Bowling for Brain Injury with affiliates in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and New York as the pilot sites for an ongoing, nationwide awareness and fundraising program.
• BIAA continued its Corporate Sponsorship Program, providing multiple opportunities for rehabilitation facilities to demonstrate their leadership in brain injury; expanded its National Directory of Rehabilitation Providers; and continued the ACBIS Alliance Award, recognizing organizations that demonstrate a commitment to ACBIS certification.
My partner, Shana De Caro and I believe it is incumbent upon us not only to zealously represent our clients, but also to educate the public about the serious consequences of brain injury in an effort to prevent needless injuries from occurring. In that regard, and in recognition of the important work performed by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), several years ago I proposed the creation of a voluntary annual endowment from the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group (TBILG) membership funds to be allocated toward the vital BIAA educational initiatives. The membership of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group is comprised of national leaders in brain injury advocacy, education and prevention.
I am proud that this proposal was adopted by the entire TBILG membership and is funded by a voluntary individual $50 contribution made each year at the time of membership renewal. The endowment each year has made a substantial contribution to the Brain Injury Association of America who has utilized these funds for important public service announcements and other educational undertakings.
At the close of this year, Shana and I urge all those in the brain injury community, persons with a brain injury, family members and friends, attorneys, physicians, neuropsychologists and others providing essential services and support to victims of brain trauma to take an active role in the Brain Injury Association of America and voice our continued support for BIAA and its leadership.
With warm holiday greetings and best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year,
Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention
An insidious conspiracy by the NFL and its insurers to deny brain injured players access to the courthouse
An article in yesterday’s New York Times, Concussion Liability Costs May Rise and Not Just for NFL, discusses the ongoing dispute between the NFL and its insurance companies concerning insurance coverage issues for the law suits commenced charging the league with fraud in their concealment of the dangers of concussions to their players. The article also discusses the anticipated increased costs for insurance coverage faced by school districts faced with concussion related claims.
The sad truth is that insurers, teams, school districts will all use this as an excuse to seek limitations on liability and hold school sports programs hostage. Those who cause injuries to innocent victims and insurers always cry foul when the day of reckoning approaches.
Player safety either in the NFL or in school districts can never be held hostage by this sort of argument. This is an insidious conspiracy to do away with these cases and obtain legislative immunity to purportedly "save" school districts from a "flood of litigation" I never saw anyone drown when the “flood gates of litigation” are opened. This is typical rhetoric to avoid legal liability.
All players deserve safety and full access to the courthouse to protect their rights when teams, school districts and the league ignore their legal obligations.
You can read the full New York Time story by clicking here.
It is also a calculated business decision by insurance carriers to fashion an exit strategy for them to avoid paying out on legitimate claims, that until this time they have avoided. Now, with the burgeoning law suits they might have to pay out on insurance claims that have never been made before, although they have been collecting premiums for years. Similar to homeowner’s insurance companies that are trying to find ways to limit their Hurricane Sandy exposure.
Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention
Concussions and youth football: What happened in Massachusetts is very disturbing
An article in today’s New York Times, “A 5-Concussion Pee Wee Game Leads to Penalties for the Adults” raises very disturbing facts concerning the risk of concussions faced by our nation’s youth.
It is not enough to have fancy regulations about concussion management if coaches, parents and referees are uneducated about the risks of concussion and permanent brain damage or intentionally chose to ignore these risks.
The article points to a Pee Wee, youth football game played in Southbridge, Massachusetts last week where at least five players from one team sustained concussions. One of the teams was clearly outmatched and play was allowed to continue despite the obvious risk of injury to these young players.
As a result of this dangerous and even life threatening conduct, league officials have suspended the coaches and referees involved for the entire season. But, until all those with the responsibility of protecting the health of athletes understand that concussions are not just bumps on the head and that there is no such thing as a ‘minor” brain injury, preventable brain injuries will still occur.
Youth sporting activities, even if not school sanctioned, must be made subject to new state laws regulating athletic activity and concussion awareness. Teams and leagues using school and town athletic fields must be made subject to these new laws .
You can read the full story by clicking here.