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spinal and head injuries in ice hockey

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  • spinal and head injuries in ice hockey

    Dear Colleague:

    SportSmart Canada is sending this message to a number of mailing lists to
    help determine the incidence of ice hockey related spinal and head injuries.
    We are mailing questionnaires to over 1500 physicians this month with the
    cover letter below enclosed. In addition, this is the first time we are
    actively soliciting the international incidence of these injuries. We hope
    that physicians around the world who have knowledge of one of these injuries
    will cooperate by simply sending me their address so we can mail you a
    questionnaire. Our definition of a major injury includes any hockey player
    who has sustained a fracture or dislocation of the spine, with or without
    injury to the spinal cord or nerve roots. It includes those with and without
    a permanent neurologic deficit. Minor injuries such as strains or whiplash
    are excluded. We also wish to include cases of hockey injury with either
    severe or repeated concussions. Please reply by e-mail to
    (JAMES D. CARSON M.D. DIP. SPORT MED.)if you have a case to report.

    On behalf of Dr. Charles Tator and SportSmart Canada, I thank you.
    ================================================== ============

    January, 1997

    TO: All Canadian Neurosurgeons, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Physical Medicine and
    Rehabilitation Specialists, Members of Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine,
    International Ice Hockey Federation Delegates, and USA Hockey Representatives

    Dear Colleague:

    RE: International Survey of Spinal and Head Injuries in Hockey to Document
    Injuries After January 1, 1994 (i.e. the date of our last survey)

    We would like to ask for your assistance in determining the international
    incidence of head and spinal injuries in hockey. Since the first recorded
    case of quadriplegia in hockey in 1967, the total number of these tragic
    injuries recorded in our Centre has surpassed 241. Much effort is now being
    made toward the prevention of spinal injuries in hockey. It is essential to
    maintain accurate statistics in order to determine whether these prevention
    efforts have been effective. The final report of our previous survey
    recording all hockey, spinal and head injuries up to December 31, 1993 will
    be published in the January, 1997 issue of the Clinical Journal of Sport

    The hockey helmet has been very effective in preventing major acute brain
    trauma. However, we are now confronted with the problem of repeated mild
    concussions causing cumulative damage and permanent memory loss. Please be
    sure to indicate cases with repeated concussions and tell us if there is
    permanent neurological deficit.

    Would you please fill our the enclosed questionnaire now whether or not you
    have cases to report. The cases we ask you to report are those seen since
    January 1, 1994 which was the date of our last survey. If you have
    knowledge of cases before this date which have not been reported to us,
    please report them as well.

    Thank you for your continued cooperation.

    Yours sincerely,

    Charles H. Tator, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
    Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery
    University of Toronto
    President, SportSmart Canada
    and Think First Canada - Penzer d'abord