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Sport-related head injuries a concern in New Brunswick

(New Brunswick) The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) recently released new data showing a significant increase in the number of emergency department (ED) visits for sport-related brain injuries in Ontario and Alberta.

The new data from CIHI for 2014 to 2015 indicates 94 per cent of ED visits for sport-related brain injuries in the two provinces were concussion related, including a higher number of visits among younger age groups. A similar trend has also been identified inNew Brunswick. Provincial data shows a 70 per cent increase in the number of sport-related head injury cases were assessed in an ED from 2011 to 2015. The top five sports in NB that sent the largest number of patients to the ED for head injuries were hockey, rugby, football, soccer and cycling.

"Over the last year, the NB Trauma Program and our partners have put an emphasis on increasing the public's knowledge about concussions," said Dr. Tushar Pishe, Interim Medical Director of the NB Trauma Program. "We expected to see an increase in visits to emergency departments which indicates the public is receiving the message - if you suspect a head injury such as a concussion, see a healthcare professional as soon as possible."

A concussion is a brain injury which can be caused by a blow to the head, face, neck, or body which causes a sudden jarring of the head.Some common concussion symptoms include general confusion, headaches, dizziness and poor balance.Anyone with a suspected concussion should stop all physical activity right away and be assessed by a health care professional as soon as possible. Over 90 per cent of people diagnosed with a concussion in the ED will not require hospitalization. A health care provider will provide medical advice concerning the mental and physical rest needed before beginning any efforts to return to school, work or play.

A properly fitted and correctly worn helmet reduces the risk of serious head injury by up to 85 per cent. A helmet does not prevent a concussion; however they are very effective against certain head injuries such as skull fractures. The NB Trauma Program encourages everyone to learn more about ways to protect your brain and play safe when engaged in sports and recreational activities. Whether you are a concerned parent, a young New Brunswicker or a coach, we all have a role to play in injury prevention.

The NB Trauma Program is committed to help reduce injuries, provide coordinated trauma care, education and research opportunities throughout the province. This work is accomplished through a formalized partnership with the Department of Health, Horizon Health Network, Vitalité Health Network and Ambulance New Brunswick. 

For more information about concussions or additional information about the NB Trauma Program, please visit .


For more information contact: 

Stephanie Neilson-Levesque
Media Relations

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