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Getting a head start on concussions critical to recovery for Canadian youth

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 General News J E 4
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KONKUSSION launches a complimentary dedicated 24/7 hotline to address need for better concussion care

TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2016 /CNW/ - KONKUSSION, a private clinic and advocacy group in Toronto dedicated to the diagnosis and management of concussions, just launched a complimentary public 24/7 concussion hotline for Canadians. The hotline will provide potentially lifesaving concussion emergency counselling over the phone to patients - overseen by neurosurgeons and neurologists who have volunteered their time. This is not a replacement for the emergency room; but rather, an additional no-cost resource for concussion education.

An estimated 225,000 Canadians suffer from concussions each year. Thirty per cent of all traumatic brain injuries are sustained by children and youth, many of them while participating in sports and recreational activities.1These staggering facts cemented KONKUSSION's commitment to improving concussion awareness and treatment in Canada. Understanding brain injury is a critical issue that is often overlooked in sports, when compared with more visible injuries such as fractures.

"With the rising incidence of sports-related concussions, there has been a considerable shift recently in the attitude towards concussions at the professional sports level. But we need to bring this change to the grassroots level," says Dr. Neilank Jha, renowned Toronto neurosurgeon and Chairman of KONKUSSION. "A severe concussion can permanently change the way a child can play, learn and interact with others. However, most concussions, when treated properly, don't turn out to be a matter of life and death. 80 per cent of people get better in a short frame of time. That gets overlooked very often."

Currently, family physicians and emergency room physicians are responsible for diagnosing most concussions. However, many of them may not be adequately equipped to manage concussion recovery, given that diagnosis can be complicated in some cases, and there hasn't historically been consensus on proper concussion management and care. This can lead to concussions being monitored by patients themselves, instead of a qualified concussion specialist. What makes this situation worse is that athletes who suffer a concussion are more likely to suffer a second concussion in close succession. And that's the real cause for concern, says Dr. Jha.

But this doesn't mean abstinence from youth sports is the answer. "There are several proven health and social benefits of participating in sports, which in my opinion far outweigh the risks. That is why it is so important that we come together as Canadians to change the culture of sports in the country. By focusing on education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of concussions, we are committed to encouraging young athletes to play, while ensuring we are doing everything possible to keep them safe," adds Dr. Jha.

Canadians looking for more information on acute head injuries should call 1-855-899-KONK (5665), ideally within 24-48 hours of sustaining an injury. They can also visit www.konkussion.com and register as an athlete to get more information on concussions.

About KONKUSSION KONKUSSION is a global organization devoted to concussion research and management. Founded in 2012 and supported byneurosurgeons,neurologists, and neuropsychologists around the globe that volunteer their time,the organization has a dual clinical and research approach to evolving and redefining the management of concussions. KONKUSSION's R&D team conducts extensive research and clinical trials in concussion diagnostics andtherapeutics, while also providing round-the-clock advice and prompt care to concussed patients. For more information, please visitwww.konkussion.com.

_____________________________1Brain Injury Association of Canada

SOURCE KONKUSSION

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