The prevalence and consequences of concussion at all levels of ice hockey are concerning. Reduction of concussion risk and improved concussion diagnosis and management require a collaborative effort from medicine, psychology, sport science, coaching, engineering, officiating, manufacturing and community partners.
In October 2010, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Rochester hosted "Ice Hockey Summit: Action on Concussion" for more than 250 physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, coaches, ice hockey organization representatives, arena managers, manufacturers and researchers. The event's objectives were twofold:
Conference participants explored hockey-related predictors of concussion, pathophysiology of concussion, and strategies for head trauma prevention through medical and scientific education, as well as behavior modification. They discussed the dangers of increasingly violent play, a tendency to downplay injuries in favor of more playing time, and the consequences of rushing potentially concussed players back to the ice. Speakers also touched on the strengths and limitations of current hockey helmet design.
Michael Stuart, M.D., USA Hockey's chief medical officer and vice chair of orthopedic surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., presented summary findings from the Ice Hockey Summit to the organization's board of directors following the event.
Mayo Clinic conference organizers also developed a strategic plan and timeline for evaluating and properly implementing concussion prevention programs, rules, and standards, as well as contributing to the modification of hockey helmet manufacturing standards.
Patterns of Play Leading to Concussions in the NHL: The Video Analysis Project
Paul Comper, PhD
The Effect of Concussion on the Developing Brain and Associated Functions
Gerard Gioia, PhD
Neuropsychological Testing in Youth and High School Players
Mark Lovell, PhD
Player Equipment and Facilities that Impact Concussion: An Epidemiologic Perspective
Brian Benson, MD, PhD
Reducing Aggression in Youth Hockey Across Sectors? Hockey Education Program (Fair Play)
Aynsley Smith, RN, PhD
Pulling together a Power Play on Concussion: Communicate and Build Support so the Action Plan has Maximal Impact and Success
Michael Stuart, MD, Aynsley M. Smith, RN, PhD, and Chris Gade