Jason Mitchell, Seismic Nationals 2007, Hybrid Slalom.  Photo by Greg Fadell Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association
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Dr David Hartman on Head Injuries

 
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Q&A: Dr David Hartman on Head Injuries (823 Posts)
Topic Comment
helmets
On 5/19/2002 longboardbuddha wrote in from (62.30.nnn.nnn)

my experience with full face downhill mtb and bmx helmets are that often the visor peak and or face guard shatter on high speed impact leaving shards of plastic in da face as the areas such as the visor peak and face protector are not reinforced...i saw this graphically displayed yesterday at an mtb race in cannock chase forest uk...the gentleman slammed on a big gravel slope head first snapping the face protector at the junction between the helmet and the protector...the offending shard then slipped between the helmet and the ear slicing it in half nearly...my advice when going for speed downhills is buy a half decent full face motorcycle helmet....

 
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Higher Speed Helmets
On 5/17/2002 Dr Dave wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

Many on this list have suggested a "motocross" or BMX style helmet for higher speeds. These type of helmets, which have a front-piece to protect the face, prevent the spread of asphalt-chiclets upon impact. . . .

 
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Which Helmet
On 5/17/2002 Dr. Dave wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

Snell is one of the strictest (best) ratings. Check to see what it is snell-rated to do.

One more thing: It looks like a ski helmet and might have a lot of padding for warmth, which might make a difference in where and when you slalom.

 
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Helmets Which one
On 5/17/2002 David"MoonDoggie"Garcia wrote in from (199.123.nnn.nnn)

I posted this on the Slalom and Safety Equipment maybe this
the right place
Can Anyone tell if this a good helmet for Slalom and speeds
up to 35-40mph.It is Snellrated.

Thanks

http://www.prorider.com/pro/images/ski.jpg

 
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Helmets
On 5/17/2002 Mercury News wrote in from (64.236.nnn.nnn)

Helmet advocates looking out for kids

BILL TARGETS SKATEBOARDS, IN-LINE SKATES, SCOOTERS

By Dana Hull and Nicole C. Wong
Mercury News


Dude, where's your brain bucket?

Parents call them helmets, and if you're a California kid under 18 you may soon need one if you skateboard, ride a scooter or in-line skate.

The state Senate on Thursday approved the ``Youth Helmet Bill'' -- which carries a $25 fine -- on a 21-15 vote. It now moves to the Assembly, where supporters say they're confident it will pass.

If it does, and Gov. Gray Davis signs it into law, California will have the toughest helmet safety law for kids in the country.

Whether skateboarders will actually wear them as they're doing nose slides on the street is another matter. Many Bay Area skaters wear protective gear at local skate parks but don't like to when they're just riding in the neighborhood.

``If I don't see other people wearing it, I probably won't,'' said Chris Ruiz, 15, a freshman at Palo Alto High School, who added that he has a helmet but doesn't wear it while skateboarding to and from school.

Dominic Al-Shamari, 9, rides his bike, skateboard, in-line skates, scooter or go-cart every weekend with his friends. On Thursday, he checked out what he hopes will be his new bike at Black Diamond Sports, an extreme sporting goods store in downtown Palo Alto.

``I tell my friends, `Helmet' '' he said, pointing to his head and rolling his eyes to emphasize his support for head protection.

But across the store a video showed skateboarders skidding along ramps without helmets. ``If I was them I wouldn't do that,'' Dominic said. ``That is so dumb.''

Ian Barner, the store's manager, said more than half the people buying skateboards and in-line skates at the store also buy a helmet.

``It's the most important part of protective gear they can wear,'' Barner said. ``If they break their wrist, they can fix it. If you whack your head hard against the ground, that's it. You'll spend the rest of your life eating food out of a tube.''

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that in 2000 there were 40,500 scooter-related injuries treated in the nation's emergency rooms. Nearly 85 percent of scooter injuries involved kids younger than 15. There were 16 deaths related to scooter use in 2001.

Skateboard injuries result in 50,000 emergency room visits and 1,500 hospitalizations among minors each year in the United States, according to a Senate analysis of the bill.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jack O'Connell, D-Santa Barbara, was inspired by a group of elementary school students from San Luis Obispo who wanted to do something after a third-grade classmate was hit by a car while riding her scooter. She was not wearing a helmet and was out of school for about two weeks.

``During a student council meeting, we realized that there was only a helmet law for bike riders,'' said Marisella Rodriguez, a student at Hawthorne Elementary School, in her letter to O'Connell. ``Our student council believes that there should also be a helmet law for scooters and skateboard riders, so children won't get hurt.''

Maryland and Rhode Island have helmet laws for children under 16 who ride scooters or in-line skate. New York and New Jersey laws apply only to children under 14. Twelve other states and the District of Columbia have helmet laws for bike riders only.

California's bike law requires anyone under age 18 to wear a helmet.

``Sixteen years ago I authored the bike helmet law, and we are trying to parallel that law today for skateboards, skaters and scooters,'' said O'Connell, whose 15-year-old daughter loves to in-line skate. ``The number of injuries are staggering. We have good law enforcement support, and we hope to get it to the governor's office this summer.''

 
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John Gilmour - Helmet Lobbyist
On 5/17/2002 Dr Dave wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

Here's a thought. Anyone want to prepare a list of helmet mfgr's and high profile boardmakers (e.g., Turner) emails to have NCDSA'ers lobby? I agree with John, that motocross and other helmets don't meet the needs of boarders very well. And the fact that most skateboard helmets don't have Snell testing is insulting.

drD

 
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Grand Mal
On 5/17/2002 Dr. Dave wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

Wes,

"Grand Mal" is now "tonic-clonic." More descriptive - not as French. . . . drD

 
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Grand Mal?
On 5/17/2002 Wesley Tucker wrote in from (152.163.nnn.nnn)

Dr. Hartman, I didn't see "grand mal" anyhere in your descriptive analysis of various seizure disoriders. Is it a phrase that has fallen out of favor?

 
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helmet ratings
On 5/17/2002 john gilmour wrote in from (151.204.nnn.nnn)

While wearing any helmet will lessen the likelyhood of injury some helmets are better than others.I would think it would be important to wear a helmet designed for the speeds and impacts likely to be associated with the sport. That being said...for slalom racing speeds 25+ up to 40mph what helmet truly meets our needs?

I was considering snowmobile helmets and motocross helmets. though neither seems ideal.

But what helmet is best suited for our sport?
How much would such a helmet weigh? I would like to see an actual helmet suggested that meets the above criteria- I know your suggestion is not an endorsement but it would be a great help to see a representitive example. Thanks in advance.

 
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le petit mort
On 5/17/2002 Mad Hack wrote in from (211.123.nnn.nnn)

While epilepsy is practically just another word for seizure, the "little death" is a French term for "orgasm." I would hope that wearing a helmet wouldn't prevent the little death, although it may be a little unromantic, but wearing one while riding obviously would make sure you'd be able to have more...(psYchOLloyd, I thought you may appreciate the irony...)

My kids got me wearing a helmet, and watching my daughter crash into a wall on her bike, drove the point further home; Patio's story even further. I appreciate the Dr.'s indications list there, and will keep a closer eye on my daughter: are there tests for epilepsy or post-traumatic head injury (it's probably been a year now...)?

That said, I sit here typing with one hand wondering how I can prevent arm/wrist injuries...
Scott

 
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Jimi's riff
On 5/16/2002 Dave H. wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

Well said, Jimi.

There is a lot to go wrong from skateboard head trauma. Jimi's point that you might not be able to board ever again is something to consider when you're weighing the importance of head protection.

DrD

 
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boarding
On 5/16/2002 jimi wrote in from (130.217.nnn.nnn)

I think that this forum brings about one important point that will get accross to all longboarders who do not regulary wear a helmet, if you fall off, you may never ride again. And that is a chilling fact because i for one don't know where i'd be or what i'd do if i couldn't continue with this sport, or my normal life. Cheers Doc D.

 
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PsychOLloyd's Seizures
On 5/16/2002 Dr. Davie wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

OK, here's the lesson o the day. Thanks PLloyd):

Epilepsy (actually "Seizure Disorder" is the current term)
refers to a group of disorders of the central nervous system that are characterized by sudden seizures, muscle contractions, and partial or total loss of consciousness. Epilepsy is caused by abnormal nerve (neurochemical)discharges in the brain. These, in turn may be "idiopathic" (cause unknown) or secondarily caused by brain injury, tumor, etc.

Five Basic Types of Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders

Tonic-clonic: This type of epilepsy causes a loss of consciousness and is often accompanied by movements such as eyelid twitching to total body shaking. The tonic-clonic seizure usually lasts one to three minutes. The person often has a warning called the "aura" that a seizure is about to occur. The aura can be a taste, sound, feeling, or vision and can prepare the person for the seizure.

Absence: Originally called petit mal, absence seizures are momentary losses of consciousness. The person may stop what he or she is doing, stare into space, drop something, or blink their eyes rapidly. These seizures last five to thirty seconds and may take place many times a day. Absence seizures are commonly associated with children between four and fourteen years of age.

Complex-partial: This type causes the person to lose consciousness yet still feel and do things during the seizure. The person might have tantrums or make repetitive movements like lip-smacking, picking at clothes, or rubbing hands or legs. These seizures can last a few minutes or several hours.

Status Epilepticus: These seizures continue for a long time without the person regaining consciousness and can be life threatening.

Traumatic Brain Injury, (for example, hammering the asphalt with your forehead after falling off your board), increases your risk for seizure disorder, depending on the severity of the injury. For mild TBI (less than 1/2 hour of unconsciousness) the risk is about 1.5 normal. Risk rises to about 3 for moderate injuries, and shoots up to about 17 for severe injuries (Annegers JF, & Coan SP. (2000) The risks of epilepsy after traumatic brain injury.Seizure Oct;9(7):453-7).

That being said, seizures (except for status epilepticus) are survivable, although you are not going to be a boarder anymore if you have uncontrolled seizures (Yeah, it might look funny on an MTV movie). Another argument for helmets.

DrDave

 
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new forum!
On 5/16/2002 Leo wrote in from (216.72.nnn.nnn)

Adam and dr dae, great idea on introducing this forum, it will give us a professional point of view of the crashes on our sport.
keep it going
leo

 
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brain dead
On 5/16/2002 psYch0Lloyd wrote in from (198.160.nnn.nnn)

...ummmm, er, my latin's all wrong. Guess'n I shoulda worn that helmet.

[French ťpilepsie, from Latin epilpsia, from Greek epilpsis, from epilambanein, epilp-, to lay hold of : epi-, epi- + lambanein, to seize.]

Whatever that means?

 
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epilepsy
On 5/16/2002 psYch0Lloyd wrote in from (198.160.nnn.nnn)

Hey now,

I've seen a lot of talk about head injuries and though I am not aware of any adverse affects of some of the falls I have taken with and without helmets I just wanted to express something that I have to deal with from day to day.

Someone I love dearly was injured in a car accident a long time ago. When we first met it bacame evident that she had a disability which wasn't readily apparent to the naked eye. It wasn't too long into our relationship before I realized that epilepsy can reveal itself in so many different ways. Today (for now at least) her seizures are pretty much controlled by medication and she has learned how to work her way out when she feels a small one coming on (sometimes).

The term epilepsy comes from a combination of latin words meaning "little death". I would hope that by being aware of your limitations and most of all that by wearing a helmet, that people can prevent this from happening to themselves.

The thing is that I am not an advocate for wearing a helmet all the time (though I know better). But when I comes to a situation where the environment demands it I wouldn't ride w/o one. I know, I know. Don't do as I do...
...do as I say.

 
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Lid Gear
On 5/16/2002 Crunchy Knee wrote in from (209.154.nnn.nnn)

For the hessians out there...a company (name I cannot remember)
is coming out with helmets that look like baseball caps. They'll
be form fitting and add a good bit of protection.

Full pads, Full time.

CSW

 
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Helmet Use
On 5/15/2002 Iowa Jeff wrote in from (216.248.nnn.nnn)

I'll add to what you all have been saying. I had spent 4 days riding an 8ft bowl in Omaha 2 years ago. Most of the time I rode without my helmet. Last day there my wife nagged me to wear a helmet, so I got my old Trek Cycling helmet out and wore it the last day. Good thing I did as I was doing a frontside edger on the coping and my wheels popped out of the bowl. I fell straight down to the bottom, 8 ft, flat on my back, and my head hit hard. Without the helmet I'd have been dead or P@io-like.

Wear them lids, kids!

 
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Patio
On 5/15/2002 Shane Jones wrote in from (63.190.nnn.nnn)

I read that article in IL. My younger brother read it too. It really made me think. It doesn't really take much of a knock on the head to mess you up. I now wear a helmet when I ride my board.

 
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Kudo's to Patio
On 5/15/2002 DrDave wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

Patio, who developed cerebellar ataxia, after falling off a board without a helmet, is the man with world-wide "impact." He recovered to take on the role of boarding's helmet posterboy. Still think helmets aren't useful? Check out the last (not the current) issue of International Longboarder. Or just write to Patio. His story is worth hearing.

DrD

 
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Dan's Eye Sore
On 5/15/2002 DrDave wrote in from (12.249.nnn.nnn)

Dan, the injury could be to one of the nerves in the eye or could be a secondary effect of concussion. This is the sort of thing that should get you a ticket to your local ER or family doc. Do it. Don't mess around with an eye injury. Use the ice, but get it checked out. And put the frisbees and longboards on ice until you know.

Dave

 
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howdy Dr. Dave!
On 5/15/2002 Patio Mendino wrote in from (66.168.nnn.nnn)

Thanks again for doing the head injury article.
It apparently has had a worldwide impact.
HELMETS RULE!!! and other pads ain't half bad neither.
P's out

 
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unequal pupils
On 5/15/2002 danG wrote in from (141.150.nnn.nnn)

Hi, this isnít a long boarding head injury, but a head trauma is head trauma, right? Today I was playing frisbee with my friends in gym when my right eye socket smashed into another kidís head. I donít have any signs of a head injury (nausea, sleepiness, dizziness, double vision, loss of memory, loss of conscious) BUT my right pupil is noticeably bigger then my left and I am having some trouble concentrating. They both do dilate when exposed to light. Anyway, is it possible to have a very mild concussion and what else can I do to bring down the golf ball sized swelling other than ice?

 
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Welcome aboard!!!
On 5/15/2002 psYch0Lloyd wrote in from (24.148.nnn.nnn)

Hey now Doc...
...contact me if you want to skate some time. I seem to remember that you were from around the Chicago area some time ago.

 
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Introducing Dr. David Hartman
On 5/15/2002 Dr Dave wrote in from (66.121.nnn.nnn)

Dr. David Hartman is a clinical and forensic neuropsychologist in Chicago, Illinois. As a neuropsychologist, he measures the behavioral and cognitive consequences of brain damage, including head injury. He shook up more than a few people with his article on skateboarding head injury for International Longboarder a few issues ago. He is also the author of "Neuropsychological Toxicology" a book that describes how drug use and industrial toxins effect the brain. He rides longboards. He wears a helmet.

 
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