Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund

March 01, 2005 10:37 ET

"Hockey's Most Serious Injuries declining" says Dr. Pashby

Pashby Safety Award Open for Nominations – Is there a worthy candidate in your area? Attention: Health/Medical Editor, Sports Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2005) - "I am happy to report amateur hockey's most serious injuries - the catastrophic kind - are definitely on the decline," says Dr. Tom Pashby after studying the latest injury data provided by various leagues and associations. By definition 'catastrophic injuries' leave victims with a permanent deficit and typically involve injury to an eye, the spinal cord or the brain.

Blind eyes have been virtually eliminated ever since Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified eye protection became mandatory in amateur hockey. But research has shown that a spinal cord injury or a concussion cannot be prevented by wearing extra protective gear.

"Today's best way to prevent these injuries is by educating everybody in the game, especially coaches, players and parents, about how brain and spinal cord injuries can happen. Then they can take steps to avoid these dangerous situations," notes Pashby.

"Amateur hockey has created much wider awareness of how these injuries can happen and how to prevent them. Along with instituting rules against hitting from behind and head checking, this has significantly reduced spinal cord and brain injuries."

A retired ophthalmologist, 90 this year and a pioneer in eye protection in sports, Pashby stresses, "Prevention is vital with catastrophic injury because they defy treatment. Nothing to date will remove the lifelong deficits they inflict. And awareness is the key to prevention - awareness that they can happen, and awareness that there are ways to protect you and others."

Pashby Safety Award Open for Nominations - Is there a worthy candidate in your area?

Last year The Pashby Sports Safety Fund inaugurated a special award to honour Canadians who have turned their attention to ways and means of preventing these injuries. The 2004 Pashby Sports Safety Award went to retired professor Patrick Bishop of Waterloo, Ontario, whose research in the field of impact biomechanics at the University of Waterloo was very valuable in establishing Canadian and international standards for protective equipment in many sports including hockey, football, racquet sports, and cycling.

If you know a person worthy of consideration for the 2005 Pashby Safety Award, the nomination form and details are at www.drpashby.com. April 15th is the deadline.

The Pashby Award Advisory Committee - Therese Brisson, Murray Costello, Ken Dryden, Richard Garneau, Russ Jackson, Kerrin Lee-Gartner and Brian Williams - will review the nominations and the winner will be announced in late June or early July.

The Pashby Award winner receives a replica trophy, a $10,000 cash prize, and recognition in a special safety display being developed in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

"Catastrophic injuries get lots of media attention when they happen. But safety isn't sexy. So injury prevention gets little media mention," says Pashby. "But I am hoping writers and broadcasters will mention nominations are open for The 2005 Pashby Safety Award because some of their readers, viewers or listeners will know a Canadian unsung hero - a researcher, equipment or facility designer, doctor, trainer, educator, entrepreneur, rule maker, organizer, or an innovative athlete, coach, official or parent - who deserves recognition for playing a significant role in the prevention of sports and recreational catastrophic injuries."
/For further information: Dr. Tom Pashby at info@drpashby.ca - (416) 422-0223 / IN: EDUCATION, HEALTH, SPORTS

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