It’s about time. Rowan’s Law is here.

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.

Concussion

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 symptoms and treatment for concussions. Did you know a concussion can last for up to 2 years ?

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 !

 


Robert Wein and the Conquer Acquired Brain Injury Walk..an inspiration for us all..

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.

 


Tragic death of rugby player Rowan Stringer hopes to bring education on the signs and signals of a concussion or brain injury. Do you know what to look for?

Ottawa Child Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth .

The very tragic death of young Rowan Stringer has left the Ottawa community with great sadness.   Rowan attended  John McCrae Secondary School student in Ottawa and was the captain of the rugby team when she died from a severe head injury during a rugby game last Wednesday. Rowan Stringer was an avid rugby player and played on several different rugby teams.

It was reported that Rowan was  tackled hard during the rugby game on Wednesday, flew into the air and hit her head and neck on the ground. Upon impact, Rowan was awake, sat up but quickly fell  unconscious. Sadly, she didn’t wake up. She remained unconscious for days while medical team worked at relieving the pressure in her head and then on Sunday, her family made the most difficult decision of their lives. Rowan was taken to hospital, where doctors tried unsuccessfully to relieve the pressure in her head but there was too much pressure and the decision was made to discontinue life support.

Rowan’s parents, Gordon and Kathleen Stringer, told CBC News that their daughter had been complaining of headaches the week before and that she’d been hit in the head in a game the week before the fatal tackle.  Then, just 2 days before the fatal injury, she was once again  hit in the head during a rugby game.  She didn’t report this second hit to her parents. The doctors are now investigating whether or not she may have suffered a smaller head injury that may have some impact on the fatal head injury.

Sadly, Rowan is now gone and she can’t be brought back. Her family is hoping that her death will  help educate others on the signs and signals of brain injuries. Her organs have been donated to help save the lives of others. What an amazing thing for this family to have done after going through such a terrible tragedy.

The question now is could Rowan’s death possibly save lives in the future? I hope so and so does her family. The hope is that there will be more education as it relates to head injuries, concussions and sports. Rowan’s death has been widely publicized . The hope now is that all this publicity may save another  life. As a Ottawa personal injury lawyer who helps people with severe concussions and brain injuries, I believe it is vital that we talk to our kids, coaches, teachers, caregivers, friends about the signs and symptoms of concussions.  Our children and athletes need to know what to be looking for and to know to tell someone.  I believe that if we really educate our athletes and their families, we can help reduce the number of deaths and further injuries.

Unfortunately, concussions are fairly common and can range in severity. It is estimated that a concussion or  mild brain trauma is sustained every 21 seconds. The signs of a concussion so you can take the proper steps to treat the injury. The signs of a concussion also vary , which is why it is often difficult to determine if someone is suffering form a concussion or not. The following is not a comprehensive list, but does describe some of the

symptoms one might have if they are suffering a concussion:

  • confused or dazed
  • clumsy
  • slurring speech
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headaches
  • off balance or dizzy
  • blurred vision
  • sensitive to light and noise
  • sluggishness
  • ears ringing
  • changes in personality or changes in behaviour
  • difficulty concentrating
  • loss of memory

There are many more signs; however these seem to be the most common. As a Ottawa personal injury lawyer and as a father of 3 children involved in sports, I urge you to talk about concussions, what to expect and what to do.  It could very well save a life. Rowan’s death is so incredibly sad and tragic that we owe it to her and her family to do everything we can to teach others about the signs and symptoms of a concussion. My thoughts go out to Rowan’s family and friends and this very tragic and difficult time.

 


Lead by example. Do you wear a helmet or do you just make your kids wear one?

Child Head Injury

Please practice what you preach. Helmets might not always be the “coolest” or “most comfortable” option but they are absolutely the smartest option. I’m so pleased with this initiative. The Ottawa Public Health and CHEO have joined forces to promote the use of helmets during winter activities. Ottawa’s neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vassilyadi attended the family day event at Ottawa’s city hall family day skating party to talk to parents to lead by example and wear their helmets !

Dr. Vassilyadi talked about how parents need to lead by example and how they are ambassadors and that kids look up to their parents and copy what they do.  I couldn’t agree more. We need to practice what we preach.

Dr. Vassilyadi also spoke about how  more families are taking the necessary precautions and wearing helmets for winter activities, such as skating and tobogganing. Dr. Vassilyadi also stated that there has been a decline in preventable head injuries in the Ottawa area, stating that there hadn’t been one surgical head injury until mid-January this season.

While one is too many at least we are moving in the right direction. I hope these messages reach others and before we know it wearing a helmet for winter activities will be an automatic response for everyone. Lead by example and put your helmet on ! If not for you, do it for your children. Kids watch their parents all the time and want to be the same. This is an easy way to install smart, safe decisions with your children. The ideal would be that we all get to a point where we don’t even think about it and we wear our helmets anytime we are participating in an activity that has a higher risk for head injuries. 

Do your part in avoiding head injuries .

 


Help and compensation for concussion injuries in Ontario accident benefits.

Concussions Injury Compensation Ontario.

I have had so many people come to me after a car accident in Ontario and they have no visible signs of an injury, yet they are suffering. After I hear about their day in and day out activities, it becomes quite apparent to me that they are suffering from a severe concussion. Concussions are a type of brain injury.  Although there is not always a blow to the head, a head injury can be equally or more painful.  In many cases, accident victims with severe concussions are not able to return to work or their everyday activities such as concentrating, remembering , or even simple tasks such as getting groceries or mowing the lawn. Suddenly noises, vibrations and lighting prevent them from any quality of life. No two concussions are alike and the effects suffered by brain injury victims will be different. The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body which controls all of the body’s functions. When these bodily functions are compromised, accident victims can suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally.

There has been a rise in public awareness when it comes to concussions.  It was previously believed that small blows to the head had little impact on one’s brain health.  Now, however through research, we know that these impacts can result in brain injury.

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer I find this development in research to be amazing. With the new technology developed to test for concussions and brain injuries, I am able to help my clients get identified and get the medical help they need in a timely manner.  After that, I am able to help them get the maximum financial compensation for their concussion injury.

Concussion symptoms ….

  • Headaches
  • Trouble with memory
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Ears ringing
  • Nausea
  • Unusual fatigue

When someone suffers from a concussion, it is important that I work closely with their  family and  healthcare practitioners to ensure that we are keeping a close eye and making sure to note any changes or triggers with their concussion. Coping with the needs of a brain injury victim is extremely difficult for everyone involved.

Concussion injuries can be life changing

A severe concussion is life altering for everyone involved. I understand the pain and frustration involved when someone suffers a severe concussion. I have been able to put many things in place and help secure my clients financial futures as many have been unable to return to work.

In Ontario, people who have suffered a brain injury as a result of an Ontario car accident are entitled to compensation for their losses from their own insurance company. Insurance companies must pay for accident benefits for such things as lost income and  housekeeping, medical bills and rehabilitation. There are time limits in Ontario when it comes to applying for Ontario accident benefits. Some insurance companies will deny a claim, even if the insurance policy covers the entitled to Ontario accident benefits.  This is where personal injury lawyers can really make the difference.  An experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer will step in and represent you.  The best Ontario personal injury lawyers will ensure you are getting ALL of the accident benefits you are entitled to and make sure that you and your family are taken care of in the years to come. Insurers often deny accident benefits they are supposed to pay out on.  Every concussion and brain injury is different and therefore every Ontario accident claim is unique.

If you have suffered a concussion or if a friend or family member is suffering from a severe concussion, we understand and can help you. We can’t undo the damage that has been done, but we can help you get much needed resources that can help you regain control of your life. Your quality of life is extremely important; not only for you but for your family.  Your concussion may get worse, but hopefully it will get better. We can help you along the way. Hang in there and let us help !

 


Ottawa Lawyer: Sport Injuries and Compensation

Head Injury in Sports

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

I receive calls regularly asking me questions about sporting injuries and does one have the right to sue. In every sport, there are injuries. While some injuries may be avoided in sports, others aren’t.  Sporting injuries can happen anywhere; a friend’s house,  school, gymnasiums, sport fields and sport training facilities. Football and hockey seem to be the sports with the highest rates of severe injuries that hear of due to the high impact and high number of head injuries associated with these 2 sports. Some sport head injuries become mild concussions and people are able to return to their sport within a few days or weeks. As we all know, there are also severe head, back, brain, neck and spinal cord injuries that result from sporting accidents.  These injuries are life-altering and catastrophic injuries.

I’m often asked about compensation about such injuries.  Not all cases of sporting injuries result in the right to sue and seek insurance compensation. In order to receive compensation, it needs to be proven that the  facility where the injury took place provided  unsafe, or dysfunctional equipment. If this is proven, then they can be help liable. It may be difficult to prove negligence , but with proper documentation, pictures and witnesses , a personal injury lawyer can help build a personal injury case to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

Consult a top Ottawa personal injury lawyer

If you have suffered a sports injury and feel it is a result of someone else’snegligence, contact an Ottawa personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. The top Ottawa personal injury lawyers will be able to provide you with immediate feedback on whether or not they think you have a personal injury case or not.

Play hard and play safe !

 


What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion? Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer…What are the signs of a concussion?  There are many different signs and symptoms of a concussion. Some are obvious and others  subtle.  Some conscussion signs may appear immediately and others may not be for days or even months. 

The most common signs of a concussion are headache, amnesia, confusion or loss of consciousness.

Other signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • headache or pressure in the head
  • slurred speech
  • loss of consciousness
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • no recollection of event
  • dizziness or blurred vision
  • “ringing” in the ears

Often times, after an injury signs appear later on. Often times people with a concussion may exhibit:

  • difficulty with concentration and memory
  • irritability and personality changes
  • eyes and ears are sensitive to light and noise
  • difficulty sleeping
  • depression
  • tastebuds and smell are off

Symptoms of a child concussion
Head trauma or concussions are particularly hard to identify in young children,  infants and toddlers because they have difficulty communicating how they feel.

Typical signs of a concussion in a child

  • tires easily
  • irritable or cranky
  • loss of appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • uninterested
  • loss of balance

It is always best to have your child checked by a doctor if you suspect they may have a head injury.  Because their skulls are so soft and developing, there is a greater chance of a severe head injury occurring.  If your child is alert, moves normally and is able to respond, the head injury is probably mild and typically will heal.  If this is the case with your child and they are tired it’s OK to let them sleep. If worrisome signs develop later and you are worried, then bring them immedicately to your doctor or emergency facility.

Bring your child immediately for emergency help if you suspect a head injury and they are exhibiting the following signs:

  • vomiting
  • continued persistance of a headache
  • changes in behavior displaying irritability
  • changes in physical coordination, including stumbling or clumsiness
  • confusion: does no’t know day,events etc…
  • slurred speech
  • dilated or uneven pupils
  • difficulty breathing
  • lasting or recurrent dizziness
  • discharge from nose or ears
  • large head bumps or bruises
  • loss of consciousness ( more than a minute)
  • repeated vomiting
  • seizures
  • symptoms that worsen over time

Concussions and sports injury
If you have injured yourself and suspect you have a head injury , you should absolutely allow yourself to rest. Avoid playing sports or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present. It is recommended that people who suspect they have a concussion should return to their sporting activity until a doctor has given them the “green light”.

—-The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury. Visit  www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a subject  you would like to know about or  if you have a question,  please call or email me: [email protected] (613) 978-9549

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Signs of a concussion, symptoms of a concussion, head injury signs


Ottawa neurosurgeon Dr. Vassilyadi and child head injury, study calls for new helmet

Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer, Ottawa Brain Injury Attorneys….Ottawa-based neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vassilyadi has conducted research that shows hockey helmets are the most effective at protecting children and preventing serious head injury to children tobogganing. The experiment conducted by Dr. Michael Vassilyadi, the neurosurgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and also a professor at the University of Ottawa, tested helmets designed for hockey, downhill skiing, and cycling. Dr. Vassilyadi and his Ottawa team simulated the potential impact that might occur while tobogganing. The findings were amazing. Hockey helmets were determined to be the safest, over bicycle helmets. This is especially true if the hockey helmet has a face shield guard. Dr . Vassilyadi noted that often times when a child suffers a tobogganing injury, they often have facial injuries such as torn lips, broken teeth,  broken nose, or eye injuries.

The bottom line is that any helmet is better than none for tobogganing. So if you can’t have access to a hockey helmet, then please grab whatever helmet you have when you take your kids out tobogganing.  As an Ontario personal injury lawyer who has had many clients with severe head injuries, I am in complete agreement with Dr. Vassilyadi and support is a desire  to see a helmet created for outdoor winter activities such as tobogganing and skating. It really does seem crazy not to.

Dr Vassilyadi explained that collisions in tobogganing are usually to the front of the head, whereas ski accidents usually involve impacts to the side of the head, where ski helmets were the most effective. Again this just goes to show that there is a need for a specific helmet to be designed for tobogganing, as there is currently no helmet specifically designed to protect the front of the head-on impact.

All this to say, do everything you can to keep your little ones (and yourself) safe. Take every safety step you can.  A child’s brain injury or head injury is life-altering. Enjoy this winter and all its wonderful activities, but please be safe.

 


Avoiding head injury and brain injury : FREE helmets available. Ottawa Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth..

Before I head out to the outdoor rink with my son for a quick skate before bed, I wanted to quickly share a great safety resource with you in the hopes of reducing an accident resulting in a serious head injury and brain injury.  There are far too many hockey, skating and ski accidents in adults and children that lead to serious and permanent injuries.  Wearing a  helmet is one very simple step to take to help protect yourself and avoid a possible head injury or brain injury.  Please, please play safely out there and WEAR A HELMET !

Are you looking to purchase helmets?  Safe Kids Canada and Canadian manufacturer, Seven Star Sports, are pleased to provide low-cost helmets for all sports, including cycling, skiing, snowboarding and hockey. A portion of all sales will go to supporting Safe Kids. Please feel free to share this information  with family, friends and colleagues.

To place your order, visit the Safe Kids website and click on one of the PDF links, print and fill out the form and send it by e-mail to: [email protected] or by fax to: 905-574-7082

For questions about your order, please contact Seven Star Sports directly at: 1-888-52-7STAR (7827) or 905-574-9270 .

The following helmets are available:

  • Bike Gear Bicycle Helmet form
  • Pro-Star Multi sport and Deluxe Helmet form
  • Pro-Star Ice Hockey Helmet with Face Cage form
  • Pro-Star Ice Hockey Helmet form
  • Ski – Winter Sports Helmet form

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth has been helping Ontario injury victims get the help they need after a serious Ontario accident.  Due to his vast experience with personal injuries, David understands the added pressure and stress associated with this personal injury.  David takes his cases on contingency, which means, you don’t pay him anything, until he gets you your money.  Call for a free consultation 613-978-9549. For more information, visit www.ottawainjury.ca

If you have a question, feel free to call or email [email protected]  

Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyer , Head Injury in Children ,Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth