Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the number, intensity, and location of hits sustained to the head by collegiate linemen over the course of one athletic season as recorded by a helmet sensor and to examine the relationship between injury reporting and the degree of head impacts sustained.
To investigate the number, intensity, and locations of hits sustained by collegiate linemen as recorded by the Riddell® InSite helmet sensor and to examine the relationship between injury reporting and the degree of head impacts sustained.
Descriptive statistics and post-play interviews
We completed procedures at one Mid-western University
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers):
Thirteen volunteer collegiate varsity offensive or defensive linemen. We recruited participants through multiple means and obtained IRB approval.
Interventions : N/A
Main Outcome Measure(s):
We measured the number, intensity, and location of hits sustained via the Riddell® Insite Helmet Sensor. Athletes completed interviews post-games or practices to document symptoms.
Over the course of one season, 13 athletes sustained 2,089 head impacts. Offensive (n = 7) and defensive linemen (n = 6) sustained 775 (M = 111; SD = 59.90) and 1,314 (M = 219; SD = 161.81) head hits respectively. The majority of hits were to the frontal (n = 1,740), top (n = 113) and right (n = 103) regions of the head.
Of the total number of head hits recorded, 53 were of high (95th percentile) and 24 were of severe (99th percentile) intensity. Of the hits sustained, 29 occurred during games and 48 occurred during practices.
During post-play one-on-one interviews with the researchers, three participants reported persistent headache, two reported difficulty concentrating, and one reported dizziness. However, none of the participants reported concussion-like symptoms to athletic or medical personnel during or post-play.
Even though some athletes experience high intensity hits and/or symptoms post-activity, none were reported to medical personnel. Athletes participating in high-risk sports would benefit from focused and repeated education regarding the signs and symptoms of concussion and the value of self-reporting a suspected injury.