Kassam: Canadians ought to heed Eric Lindros on concussions

Former Philadelphia Flyers participant Eric Lindros pauses whereas talking throughout a jersey retirement ceremony earlier than an NHL hockey sport between the Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, in Philadelphia.

Matt Slocum / AP

Most of us keep in mind Eric Lindros as a titan of hockey. The previous first-overall draft choose had an illustrious profession that spanned 15 years with 4 totally different golf equipment. He’s in all probability best-known for his time with the Philadelphia Flyers enjoying as a member of the Legion of Doom and captaining his crew to the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals, dropping finally to the Detroit Pink Wings.

His accolades embody profitable the Hart Trophy, being chosen as a seven-time NHL all-star, and profitable a gold medal for Canada on the notorious loonie-at-centre ice Winter Olympics in Salt Lake Metropolis. For all of his hockey success, Lindros was lastly inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 2016.

We additionally keep in mind, nevertheless, that Lindros’s profession was minimize brief on account of devastating concussions suffered at a time when the NHL was dominated by large our bodies and a thirst for physicality. Pictures of Lindros being trolly-track decked by Scott Stevens nonetheless paint an image of an period when the league would rejoice this Rock ’em Sock ’em fashion of hockey.

Regardless of retiring over a decade in the past, Lindros has remained a power to be reckoned with within the hockey world. Final week, he was invited to talk on the Home of Commons well being committee on sports-related concussions. He eloquently spoke of his personal lived experiences whereas offering detailed suggestions on what a nationwide technique for concussion prevention and therapy may appear like.

A few of these recommendations included standardizing concussion protocols and delaying the introduction of contact hitting till younger athletes are older. He additionally emphasised that if actual change has any hope of occurring, it’s going to start with a tradition shift on the grassroots.

It is a essential level, as a result of the information and science behind concussion restoration is ever-changing, and concussion therapy itself has modified dramatically over the previous decade. At present, physicians are attempting to implement the 2017 tips that have been generated by a world group of consultants in sport-related concussion.

For Lindros, that is private. He has not solely suffered from the consequences of concussion, however he has been essentially the most vocal and distinguished former NHL participant on the difficulty of head trauma. He has additionally put his cash the place his mouth is. Over a decade in the past, he established the Lindros Legacy Analysis initiative on the London Well being Sciences Centre, with what was the most important charitable donation by a Canadian sports activities determine on the time.

His continued advocacy work continues to shine a highlight on the dangerous results of concussion. He has additionally been capable of articulate a honed technique that focuses on youth as an alternative leagues, which he says may be corrupted by the affect of cash.

Lindros’s actual energy is in his capability to leverage his star energy for the frequent good. His rising function as a concussion ambassador will permit him to encourage and facilitate collaboration between analysis establishments, ideally dovetailing with elevated consciousness and fundraising potential.

That is the place federal and provincial ministries ought to heed Lindros’s recommendation. Most tutorial establishments compete in opposition to each other for restricted funding allotted for analysis. On this siloed framework, fewer knowledge are finally generated and shared, thereby limiting the impression and generalizability of outcomes.

The creation of a nationwide concussion analysis fund requiring a minimal variety of establishments throughout the nation to be concerned could also be one option to obtain this objective. The recruitment of personal institutional companions by the use of a social-impact bond could also be one other method of tackling this drawback.

Finally, Canadians will probably all the time keep in mind Lindros as an orange-clad warrior sporting quantity 88. His actual and extra impactful legacy, nevertheless, shall be how he helped to make our nationwide sport safer for future generations.

Adam Kassam is a resident doctor who writes about public coverage and well being care and worldwide affairs. @AdamKassamMD


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