Rowan’s Law and Concussion Injury
In a much anticipated move to prevent, detect, manage and understand concussion injury in amateur athletes, the Ontario government introduced Bill 193, Rowan’s Law . The proposed new law is named after Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old Ottawa-area rugby player who
died in 2013 after suffering several concussions.
The past few years have seen a growing awareness of concussion injuries and the deadly impact of returning to sport before these injuries are treated and a concussion injury has healed. This proposed new law will serve as a benchmark for Canada in concussion awareness, prevention, detection and management.
What is required after a concussion injury ?
The bill has a number of key elements that would require athletes, coaches, educators and parents to:
· Conduct an annual review of concussion awareness resources.
· Set out and adhere to a system to ensure that athletes suspected of having a concussion are removed from sport and establish a protocol for their safe return.
· Establish a return-to-sport procedure for athletes who have sustained a concussion, or who are suspected of having sustained a concussion.
To create further awareness, the legislation would also proclaim “Rowan’s Law Day” to be observed on the last Wednesday of September.
Study after study has proven that too many young people experience concussions while participating in organized sports and recreational activities, sometimes with tragic outcomes. This has become a public health issue and with dire consequences.
· 64 per cent of visits to hospital emergency departments among 10-18 year-olds are related to participation in sports, physical activity and recreation.
· Among children and youth (10-18 years) who visit an emergency department for a sports-related head injury, 39 per cent were diagnosed with concussions, while a further 24 per cent were suspected of possible concussions.
· Football, soccer and hockey have all shown a greater than 40% increase in rates of reported head injury (relative to other injuries) between 2004 and 2014 for children and youth.
As a parent and coach, I have been trained to recognize the symptoms of head injuries, but this is not the case with all coaches, teachers, group leaders and parents.
Thankfully, the Ontario government has moved swiftly in introducing this legislation. It is an important first step in changing the way we treat sports injuries and in championing the well-being of amateur athletes.
Concussion Head Injury
Concussion and traumatic brain injuries affect the way that the brain functions and can lead to long-term impairment. This is especially true for children. As we head into the summer season, kids will start playing of soccer and baseball and will be eager to ride their bikes, scooters and skateboard. With kids on the move, it is important to know the signs of a concussion and how to treat it. A concussion is caused when a child gets a bump, blow or jolt to the head.
Recognize a concussion
Concussions can also be caused by a hit to the body, that causes the head to move back and forth quickly. These sudden, sharp movements can cause the brain to jar or twist in the skull creating chemical changes in the brain and damages to the brain cells, affecting the way they think and remember. The best defense against a head injury or brain injury is to ensure that children always wear the right equipment. Not surprisingly, many concussions happen when the child is not playing team sports in a formal way, but is just playing at home or with friends without their helmets or protective gear. They may be just taking their bike around the block and not feel a need to put on a helmet for a short ride. These are the times that kids must be reminded to always wear a helmet for safety.
Symptoms of a concussion
If your child does suffer a bump to the head, make sure you know that symptoms. A person does not need to be knocked out or to lose consciousness to have a concussion. A child suffering a concussion could seem confused, have a slow reaction time and have difficulty concentrating. Look for headaches, nausea, dizziness and changes in sight. Should you see any of these signs, have your child stop playing right away and don’t leave him alone. Take him to the hospital right away or call 911.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Polytrauma
As Ottawa personal injury lawyers we see many people suffering from traumatic brain injuries as a result of motor vehicle collisions, trip and falls, medical malpractice, product malfunction, and other incidents. The effects of a brain injury are complex and vary from person to person. Sadly, a brain injury can change your life and livelihood, which is why it is so important to get the right supportive team around you immediately following an accident.
Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers assisted a pleasant teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury and other catastrophic injuries as a result of a very serious motor vehicle collision. She was a passenger in a vehicle that was turning left at an intersection when it was hit by a truck travelling through the intersection. Ordinarily, in this situation, a left-turning vehicle is considered 100% at fault (i.e. liable) meaning that only the left-turning vehicle’s insurance company is responsible for compensating the injured persons. There are, however, certain exceptions to this general rule.
How our Ottawa Injury Lawyers Proceeded
This was a very serious collision where several occupants in the left-turning vehicle suffered serious injuries. It was very likely that the occupants’ claims combined would exceed the at-fault driver’s $2,000,000 insurance policy. In other words, the left-turning driver’s $2,000,000 policy was insufficient to compensate the injured parties. The only other way to obtain additional insurance funds was to argue that the truck driving straight through the intersection was liable for the accident. This, as noted, is not an easy task as courts often hold that vehicles with a right of way, such as the truck in this case, are not liable for collisions. Our Ottawa injury lawyers however retained an expert in motor vehicle accident reconstruction and analysis, who examined several key witnesses, obtained crucial documents from police and paramedics, and by used leading edge investigative techniques, among other things. Consequently with this information, our personal injury team was able to attach liability to the driver of the truck. Accordingly, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers were able obtain compensation from the driver of the truck as well. This opened up the amount of funds and compensation available to our client.
Compensation For Traumatic Brain Injury and Polytrauma
Our Ottawa lawyers ultimately settled her tort claim for approximately $1,500,000 which will undoubtedly assist her in the future. She also has available to her in the future $1,000,000 in medical and rehabilitation benefits and $1,000,000 for attendant care benefits.
$3, 500 000 is a lot of money; however this is money that is much needed in this young person’s life and throughout the rest of her life. Our Ottawa injury lawyers were pleased to help her get much needed compensation and the proper medical supports in place.
* Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results and that the amount recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.
Sixth Annual Ottawa and Eastern Ontario Brain Injury Awareness Day
Our personal injury lawyers are pleased to once again share that we are again sponsoring this wonderful event aimed at raising awareness, support and funds for people with a brain injury and their families . For the past six years, Vista Centre has organised this event and invited survivors, family members, health care professionals, educators, lawyers and all anyone involved in preventing brain injuries.
Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyers
Our personal injury lawyers are not only sponsoring this event , we will be available throughout the day to answer any questions regarding brain injuries and legal rights. Thousands of Canadians injure themselves and suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year . Typically, there are more younger adults than older adults who suffer brain injuries. This means many people with a brain injury have a long life ahead of them; however it is a life that will require support. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are able to help offer this support. When we meet with someone who has been injured in an accident and is suffering from a brain injury, the first thing we do is put as many supports in place to properly diagnose and fully understand the extent of the brain injury. While our clients are focussing on their recovery, we implement a plan for the future. We understand and have experience with what is required. We hire our own medical experts to develop a life expectancy plan, we hire professionals to prepare reports to determine what amount of income will be lost throughout the course of an individual’s life time due to their brain injury and we make sure we are thorough in seeking maximum compensation for a brain injury. Part of the recovery process will be to access programs such as the Ottawa Brain Injury Awareness Day.
When it comes to helping people who are suffering from a brain injury, we are there. WE understand the complexity of a brain injury and its effects on the individual and their family and friends. A brain injury is an “invisible injury” with very visible effects. If you or a loved one is suffering from a brain injury , I urge you to visit the Brain Injury Association of Canada’s website as well as the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley’s website . If you need us for free legal advice, we are here for you. Let our Ottawa personal injury lawyers help you with your brain injury .
Winter tobogganing in Ottawa ….
Most schools are out tomorrow for the holidays and that means children will be looking for activities. What’s on the top of my3 kid’s list? Tobogganing ! Ottawa has an abundance of hills open for tobogganing. While it’s a great sport and very fun, it is also a sport that has it’s fair share of serious injuries. Each year hundreds of people are injured and many require medical attention. The City of Ottawa has a wealth of information related to tobogganing in Ottawa. Please check out their website.
Youth between the ages of 5-9 make up for 40 % of toboggan related injuries in Canada. A number of these injuries result in concussions, internal injuries or broken bones. (Statistics: Canadian Hospital’s Injury Reporting Prevention Program). Most injuries are caused by hitting another object such as a tree, a rock, a sign or from being thrown from the toboggan with force.
We are not trying to be alarmists, we simply want to remind everyone that tobogganing can be enjoyed; however, a few safety steps can be put in place before your children head off to the hills.
We’ve scoured various websites and here are a few suggestions on how to try as much as possible to prevent injuries.
Help keep your tobogganing safe by….
- Checking weather conditions before you head out.
- Checking the physical condition of the hill to make sure it is safe. Check for hazards.
- Make sure the slope of the hill isn’t too steep or fast.
- Do not toboggan in dark areas where visibility is limited.
- Always wear a CSA approved helmet.
- Always sit facing forward.
- Keep your hands, arms and legs inside the toboggan and do not use your arms to break.
- Do not wear scarfs and make sure all strings on hats and mits are tied up. Any loose clothing could catch and become a hazard.
- When tobogganing , go one at a time, do not follow closely behind another toboggan.
- Children under the age of 5 should not be on a toboggan by themselves as they cannot control it.
- Teach your children that once they reach the bottom of the hill, they must quickly and carefully get to the side and be watching for oncoming sledders.
- Teach your children to safely climb back up the hill on the sides.
Have a great, safe holiday season and have fun tobogganing !
As Ottawa personal injury lawyers, we are proud to again be supporting and sponsoring the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley’s Seventh Annual Fundraising Benefit Dinner tomorrow.
Each year, the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley offers education, information, hope and support to people with brain injuries, family members, friends, caregivers and professionals in the Ottawa Valley area. The fundraising dinner tomorrow night hopes to raise much-needed funds to provide education, information, support and advocacy with a mission of advocating dignity, respect, inclusion and understanding for all.
David Hollingsworth and the personal injury lawyers working with him have been supporting the Brain Injury Association of the Ottawa Valley for years and are proud to be involved with such a fantastic non-profit organisation. 95% of the funds raised at tomorrow night’s event will go towards supporting programs such as the Peer Mentoring Program, Peer Support Program, Family Support Group, Drop-Ins, Brain Basics Training Sessions and the Step Up Work Centre to name a few.
There is still time to donate and tickets are still available for tomorrow night’s fundraising dinner. Living with a brain injury is not easy and it is difficult for not only the injured, but their friends and family as well. There is a tremendous need for support for this community . A brain injury is life-altering.
I know we are all be asked to support various organisations and their are tremendous needs in the Ottawa community ; however, please consider supporting this very valuable organisation.
Every little bit helps to provide hope and funding for much needed supports and programs that could help an individual or a family get back on their feet again. We are proud to be involved with the Brain Injury Association and we sincerely hope you will consider joining us and make a difference in the lives of other.
Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth . It was reported in an Ottawa newspaper that a woman in her 20s remains in critical condition with serious head injuries after a two-vehicle accident yesterday morning in Ottawa at about 10 a.m. at Richmond Road and Golden Avenue. Ottawa rescue crews were quick to arrive at the accident scene and rushed her to the o the Ottawa Hospital trauma unit.
The driver of the other vehicle was a woman in her 60s . She suffered serious chest and abdomen injuries and is thankfully in stable condition.
I hope both women have a full recovery and my thoughts are with them and their families at this stressful time. I hope to soon be able to report some better news on their conditions.
Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth .
The Ottawa Citizen reported on a study recently done through CHEO and Dr Vassilyadi that looked at the after effects of concussions in children. It described a story of a boy named Clayton Carter who suffered a traumatic brain injury while riding an ATV and was able to return to hockey, school and a regular life within four months. There are many remarkable things about Clayton’s story. Firstly the fact that he was so severely injured and could have died and was then rushed by helicopter to CHEO and had his brain and skull operated on. He survived and had an amazing recovery in a very short time frame. Claydon’s speedy recovery with a severe head injury is remarkable.
Dr. Vassilyadi reported to the Ottawa Citizen that Clayton’s recovery was better than many children who suffer a concussion. Dr Vassilyadi is just finishing a study that looks at youths between 11 and 17 who have had a sports-related concussion and still have symptoms at least three months later. In the Ottawa area there have been close to 60 patients who are still suffering from their concussion 3 months later.
There are many more who suffer concussions. In fact, close to 900 children and youth are rushed to CHEO’s emergency department yearly with a suspected concussion. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, depression, sleeping too much or not enough and declining performance at school. In general, close to 90 % of concussions clear up within 10 days of the impact. Dr. Vassilyadi and his team at CHEO noted that not all parents are aware of the symptoms of concussions, so it’s tough to track what your child may be going through. Often times, parents, coaches and teachers don’t equate a child’s change in academic performance to a concussion but Dr. Vassilyadi noted that it’s entirely possible. The emotional, social and cognitive symptoms are tough to pick up on and often persist over three months for up to 2 years. CHEO conducted a research project last year “The Concussion Research Project” and found that young patients described their quality of life at almost the same level as undergoing chemotherapy. Dr. Vassilyadi also noted that there is a common misconception that there has to be a loss of consciousness in a concussion and this is simply not true. Early recognition is key to properly treating a concussion.
Unfortunately the treatment for a concussion isn’t always obvious either. Nutrition and rehydration are critical and in most rest, even if that means not returning to school or work. After a head injury, the brain needs to rest and mental stress needs to be avoided. This means eliminating video games, television, reading, texting and getting plenty of rest.
Concussion symptoms and concussion treatments are very tough to recognize which is why concussions still remain a tricky area for parents, coaches and teachers. It’s critically important to be aware of your child’s moods, fatigue, and overall feelings and “When in doubt, sit them out,”. It’s not worth the risk because a second or third head injury will be worse. Dr. Vassilyadi is speaking to physicians on Monday night about a new clinic to be opened this fall by Pro Physio & Sports Medicine Centres, which will draw on the services of sports physicians, a neuropsychologist and physiotherapists specifically trained to assess and treat concussions. The owner of the clinics, Mr. Salib focused on concussions because of the large need to properly treat concussions .
As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer with many clients who are suffering from concussions and brain injuries, I am so thankful that our community is developing more resources that relate to concussions and head injuries. I have many clients who are suffering so severely from a concussion, they are unable to return to work, be comfortable around their families for extended lengths of time and their concussion has changed their lives and the lives of their families. The more research and resources that help us with concussion treatments the better, I say !
Conquer Acquired Brain Injury Walk
There aren’t many people who can forget the terrible accident that injured 5 cyclists in Kanata. Well, I can share something wonderful that has occurred as a result of that accident: The Conquer Acquired Brain Injury Walk in Ottawa organised by Robert Wein. Robert Wein has been such an inspiration to many after he was hit when he was cycling on March Road in Kanata on July 19, 2009 . Robert suffered serious personal injuries including a serious brain injury. Originally, doctors said he had only a 50% chance of surviving, and would not likely walk or cycle again. Robert beat those odds and has been on the road to recovery ever since. His story is an incredible table of someone not giving up and persevering through life’s challenges.
I had the pleasure of meeting Robert shortly after his accident and was so impressed with his determination. Sure enough, Robert Wein has been steadily progressing ever since and has even started riding again. He rides a recumbent three-wheeler. His hard work and determination is paying off. He regularly sees a personal trainer , physiotherapist and is constantly working on his recovery with a goal to walk without the walker one day. The way things are going for Robert, I bet he will.
Today he organised and is leading 130 people in a two-kilometre walk at Andrew Haydon Park. The walk is called Conquer Acquired Brain Injury Walk and the money raised will support Pathways to Independence, an organization which provides housing and programs to those with brain injuries.
I admire Robert Wein and his determination. What an inspiration to not only people with a brain injury but to everyone ! Good luck today to Robert and everyone participating in what is sure to be an excellent annual event: the Conquer Acquired Brain Injury Walk.
Barrhaven Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates. A terrrible Barrhaven accident has left 4 young people with serious injuries following a high-speed accident involving 2 vehicles on Wednesday night. Ottawa Paramedics and rescue crews arrived at the Barrhaven accident scene at Greenbank and Barnsdale roads at 10:10 p.m. Wednesday night. 2 people needed to be freed from their cars and an unconscious 25-year-old woman required advanced life support as she was suffering from a severe head injury. She remains at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Trauma Unit in serious condition. A 30-year-old man also suffered a severe head injury and was rushed to and Ottawa hospital in serious but thankfully stable condition. The other vehicle had two 24-year-old women and they were also rushed to an Ottawa hospital in stable condition for neck injuries. I hope that the 4 people in this accident are able to recover from these serious injuries. They are in good hands at the Ottawa Hospital Trauma Unit . My thoughts are with them, their recovery and their families at this very difficult time.
Ottawa Police are investigating the accident. If you have any information that relates to this Barrhaven accident, please contact the Ottawa Police.