UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Airway Management

Title: Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Incidence

Keywords: Concussion, risk, head impact (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/11/2022 by Brian Corwell, MD (Updated: 6/25/2022)
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Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Incidence

 

There has been a major focus on head impact biomechanics as a cause of single-impact concussion in football.

The role of repeated subclinical (without diagnosed concussion) head impact exposure (HIE)

during the preseason and regular season may also be contributory.

There may exist individualized concussion tolerance levels. This threshold may be reduced by the burden of sustained subconcussive impacts

NCAA Division 1 football athletes sustain a median of 426 impacts over the course of a football season

            652 impacts/season in high school football

Total head impact exposure during the preseason occurred at 2x the rate of the regular season

This association was investigated over 1120 athlete seasons from 6 NCAA D1 football programs across 5 years

Head Impact Telemetry was used to record head impact exposure

Elevated preseason HIE was strongly associated with preseason and in season concussion incidence

Total season HIE was strongly associated with total season concussion incidence.

Conclusion: There is a prolonged effect of HIE on concussion risk starting with preseason football.

Athletes with higher preseason HIE may have higher risk of concussion for the entire fall season.

In Practice

In 2016, the Ivy League eliminated full contact practices from the regular season in addition to their existing limits on the amount of full contact in practice during the spring and preseason.

Currently, the NCAA has the following limitations:  Teams won’t be allowed to hold full-contact practices on more than two days in a row. Each practice session is limited to only 75 minutes of full contact, in addition to a limit of two preseason scrimmages.

 

 

 

 

References

Stemper BD, et al; CARE Consortium Investigators. Association between Preseason/Regular Season Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Incidence in NCAA Football. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2022 Jun 1;54(6):912-922.