Dave Irwin
Dave Irwin


The Sport Concussion Library is described as a Comprehensive On-Line Sport Concussion Resource for Athletes, Parents, Coaches, Educators, Researchers, Medical Professionals, and the Public.

Established by Paul Echlin, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Dip ABFM, CAQSM the library launched on December 8, 2011. The only one of its kind in the world, the Concussion Library houses the latest resources for anyone interested in concussion.

The International Brain Injury Association notes that of all types of injuries, those to the brain are amongst the most likely to result in death or permanent disability and that brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Traumatic brain injury is also noted to be the leading cause of seizure disorders.

In the United States, 1-1 ½ million people are treated and released from hospital emergency departments as a result of traumatic brain injury; 230,000 are actually hospitalized and survive, 80,000 are released from hospital with some form of disability; while 50,000 people die each year. There are an estimated 5.3 million Americans today living with the consequences of a traumatic brain injury and that represents 2 percent of the population according to the American Brain Injury Association.

In the European Union, brain injury also accounts for one million hospital admissions per year.

In Canada, the statistics are just as compelling. For example, in Ontario in 2001, there were 18, 518 brain injuries recorded; 12,046 were considered mild, 1,317 were moderate and 1,610 were noted to be severely brain injured. A total of 4, 517 died as a result of a head injury. In Alberta there are some 5,000 new head injuries recorded in the province each year. In 1997, traumatic brain injury accounted for 17 percent of all injury related deaths.

More specific to sports, it is estimated that sports related injury accounts for close to 300,000 injuries in the United States each year and that winter sports such as skiing and ice skating accounts for approximately 20,000 brain injuries each year.

The Dave Irwin Foundation for Brain Injury is committed to making the public more aware through this website on how to play safe and reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries incurred in winter sports as well as other types of speeded recreational activity, whatever time of the year it takes place. The information provided here will be updated from time to time. Feel free to return regularly and browse through the various links for information on brain injury as well as tips on helmet purchase and prevention strategies.

What is Acquired Brain Injury?

An acquired brain injury is defined as a major interruption of brain function occurring after birth. This can be caused by external physical force or trauma sustained in a motor vehicle accident, fall, assault, or may be due to other medical or environmental causes (e.g. stroke, aneurysm, tumour, encephalitis, etc.). Such injuries can result in observable physical disabilities. However, the profound effect on cognitive and social functioning may not be so readily apparent. Effects are often prolonged and affect the individual, the family, and the community. Consequences may include:

Impairments of speech, vision and hearing loss, headaches, muscle spasticity, paralysis and seizure disorders.

Memory deficits (both short-term and long-term), limited concentration, impaired perception and communication, difficulties with reading, writing, planning, sequencing and judgment.

Psycho-Social-Behavioural-Emotional Impairments:
Fatigue, mood swings, denial, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, lack of motivation, problems with interpersonal skills.

These problems, individually and combined, can affect an individual's ability to return to his or her former occupation and his or her role in the family and community. A

cquired brain injuries are generally classified as mild, moderate and severe. Approximately 80 percent of all recorded head injuries are considered to fall in the mild range and the recovery rate is typically quite good falling in the 80 percent range as well, at least for first incident head injuries. Moderate and severe head injuries also undergo a period of recovery, although there is a higher likelihood that there will remain sequelae such as attention and memory as well as psycho-social adjustment issues.

A more detailed description of head injury and consequences can be found at the following link: Brain Injury Survival Guide.