By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Do you remember the first time you saw a concussion in hockey, or in sports ?
Or do you remember the first time you actually recognized someone had concussion symptoms from a sports injury ?
The subtle difference is that through the 60's, 70's & 80's a concussion many times was just thought of as a " bell ringing ", a condition that would pass with a good nights sleep or a few days rest.
Famously when asked why he wore a jock and not a helmet when he played, superstar Gordie Howe responded, ' I can always get someone to do my thinking for me. '
Somewhere around 1991, Kirk Maltby of the Owen Sound Platers delivered a hard body check on Lenny DeVouno of the Kitchener Rangers that caused DeVouno to wobble as he attempted to get back to his feet, stumbling like a deer on a slick, icy pond.
I've never forgotten that image, the first time I realized that a textbook hockey check could be so devastating.
Nor will I forget a guy named Andrew Shennan, then with the Erie Otters.
In a game in Owen Sound, Shennan got mildly clipped on the chin or jaw in the neutral zone off a faceoff....and just stood there. The game was whizzing around him at top speed, but Andrew Shennan stood upright, but motionless near the Owen Sound blueline, utterly unaware of what was transpiring around him.
I mention these two episodes in light of a public forum being conducted on Thursday by the Grey Bruce Health Unit.
The open public concept is designed to look at issues related to concussion injuries.
Based on medical stats, 2 years ago there were 503 emergency room visits due to concussions for every 100,000 Grey Bruce residents.
You might think the percentage is low, just 1/2 a percent, but it also represents the second-highest rate in the province, and twice as high as the provincial rate.
Furthermore, among youth under 20 years of age, the local rate of concussion-related ER visits is the highest in the province.
Something to think about.
The Public Forum is being conducted Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at 101 17th Street East, Owen Sound.
I'm Fred Wallace