Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/05/15 at 06:45 PM ET
from Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune,
When it comes to handling concussions, the NHL is miles behind the NFL — hardly the model on the issue. In the NFL, there is an independent injury spotter in the press box at every game, looking out for head injuries. If a spotter suspects one, he or she informs the team doctor and athletic trainers, who examine the player with an independent doctor present. And if a player is diagnosed with a concussion, an independent physician must clear him before the player returns to the field.
The key word there is independent. It doesn't appear in the NHL's protocol.
The NHL puts concussion diagnosis and return-to-play protocols solely in the hands of its teams and team physicians. This creates a conflict of interest for the team doctor and the player, who might appear weak to fellow teammates if he reports an injury. A heavy onus is on the player to report his symptoms to doctors, which is laughable given the backward macho culture that requires players to play through everything and teams to reveal nothing about injuries, especially in the playoffs.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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