September 25 to October 1 is BC Concussion Awareness Week. Learn more about the BCIRPU’s Concussion Awareness Week activities.
BCIRPU is the BC site for the SHRed Concussions Study, a Canada-wide study studying concussions in high school athletes to better understand this traumatic brain injury in this population and improve prevention, diagnosis, and management. SHRed Concussions is funded by the National Football League Scientific Advisory Board and is led by Dr. Carolyn Emery at the University of Calgary.
“Concussions present differently in children and teens than they do in adults, and even then, no two concussions are the same. Our involvement in SHRed will help us to better understand how we can all better support youth in concussion recovery.”
—Dr. Shelina Babul, BCIRPU Associate Director
In mid-September, the SHRed Mobile, the mobile research lab, visited BC and parked pitch-side to enroll BC Rugby players in the study. The organization, which serves as the governing body for rugby union in BC, and has over 8,000 members across 61 organizations, is proud to partner with the SHRed Concussions study.
“Player safety and well-being is our key priority as a sport organization, and a core pillar within our Strategic Plan,” said David Newson, BC Rugby CEO. “We expect that this comprehensive research will provide more valuable information into the prevention and management of injuries which will be beneficial to athletes, coaches, therapists, and officials.”
Javier Robles-Delgado, a Grade 12 student from BC, has had six concussions in his lifetime. His first one was in Grade 8. An avid sports player, Javier has been playing rugby for almost five years. He sustained his concussions in all sorts of ways: jumping on a trampoline, playing basketball, while hanging out with his friends at home. It took Javier around 37 days to fully recover from his latest concussion.
“My last and most recent concussion was on May 26, 2022. This one I got playing rugby for my school. It was a championship game and I was positioned over a teammate, forming a ruck and a player from the opposing team decided to run at me headfirst, and made heavy contact with the top of my head,” said Javier. “I tried to walk it off and was about to stay in the game until my coaches started yelling at me and pulled me off. And luckily they did, because I did not realize it was a concussion until I had a doctor check me out.”
Early recognition, diagnosis, and proper management is crucial to proper concussion recovery, and as Javier knows from experience, if you’re not fully recovered from a concussion, you are at increased risk of sustaining another one.
“Concussions present differently in children and teens than they do in adults, and even then, no two concussions are the same,” said Dr. Shelina Babul, BCIRPU Associate Director and co-principal investigator of SHRed Concussions BC. “Our involvement in SHRed will help us to better understand how we can all better support youth in concussion recovery.”
Javier is grateful for his connection to the ShRed study. “I decided to join the SHRed Concussions study because I believe that what they’re doing is very important, especially to someone like me who has had so many concussions,” he said. “If there are ways to prevent or to improve treatment I wanted to help out in any way I could. A plus side to joining was also the quick access to doctors, MRI scans, and overall screenings.”
“There are no negative implications of joining. It’s only benefits for you,” he added. “[The research team] are there to help you by any means necessary with your recovery. And what they’re doing could help future generations of kids recover in a way we didn’t know was possible.”
To enroll in the SHRed Concussions study, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Survey of a representative sample of 900 British Columbians aged 25-55 from July 28 to August 8, 2022 by Majid Khoury on behalf of the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit. The margin of error is 3.27 per cent. For questions where respondents were asked to rate their confidence on a scale of 1 to 10, scores of 8, 9, and 10 were used in reporting.