In the Open Ice scene where Nick is telling his best friend, Griff, that he can no longer play hockey, he quotes his neurologist: “Blakeman’s like ‘The MTBI of the PCS of the SIS of the RHI of the ZXCVB.’ ”
     Except of course for that last one, Nick’s not just spewing random letters. Here’s what they mean:
    MTBI is for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and PCS is for Post-Concussion Syndrome – together they make up Nick’s eventual diagnosis.
     SIS stands for Second Impact Syndrome. This is when a person, often an athlete, gets one concussion very soon after another. It can result in serious brain injury – even death. Tragically, sometimes SIS occurs because a young athlete tries to hide the first concussion from his coach and/or parents – knowing that if they’re aware he’s been injured, they won’t let him play.
     RHI stands for Repetitive Head Injury. Over time, it can lead to debilitating problems for an athlete: Think Mohammad Ali.
          And here are links to some great Web sites on RHI, MTBI, PCS and SIS, particularly as they relate to kids playing contact sports:
     The Brain Injury Resource Center features all kind of information and resources on head injury, from mild concussion to traumatic brain injury. It has a “Life After Brain Injury” section, and there are plenty of useful links.
     The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s sports medicine site has downloads such as a sports concussion fact sheet and a “sideline evaluation card” for assessing an athlete who’s just gotten his bell rung. It also has information on imPACT, an innovative computer program that establishes preseason baseline data for athletes. Then, if the athlete gets a concussion during the season, he’s evaluated again to learn whether brain function has been compromised.
     Hockey Canada Safety Program offers great information on concussion awareness and prevention. One of the great things about this site is the comments from skaters who have already had concussions. There are also great links and downloads, including a “concussion card” that holds all the facts for players, coaches and parents.
     “Bodychecking and Concussions in Ice Hockey: Should Our Youth Pay the Price?” is an interesting and provocative article from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.                          

Athletes and head injury:

Some info and resources