Eleven years after Bill Masterton died of head trauma sustained while played hockey, the National Hockey League announced that players who sign after 1979 must all wear a helmet. However, in the early ‘90s, there were players still going out onto the ice without head protection. It wasn't until 1997 that all NHL players were wearing a helmet on the ice. That is quite a gap between a rule being established and the rule actually being enforced.

The debate is now over whether or not all players should have to wear a visor and whether or not that visor should be a full-face shield. More than 60% of the NHL players wear visors, but many of the older players are fighting this change. They grew up without wearing visors and feel that is hinders their vision, among other issues, and would hinder how well they play. For some, it is simply a freedom of choice issue.

Some feel that the player's safety should be more important than player's freedom of choice. Players have lost their vision in one eye because of accidents on the ice involving pucks and other player's hockey sticks. It seems to make more since that going blind in one eye would make it more difficult to play than wearing a full-face visor would.

New research suggests that full-face protection is the best way to go for hockey players. It offers much better protection against concussions and eye injuries. Concussions while wearing a full-face shield are usually less severe than half a shield or no shield at all. An argument can be made that football players wear full head and face protection and they move at much slower speeds and don't have to worry about pucks or sticks hitting them in the face.

Incase you were to sustain a head injury; here is a list of concussion symptoms:
• Headache
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Confusion
• Double or blurry vision
• Inattentiveness
• Loss of consciousness
• Memory problems
• Pressure in the head
• Sensitivity to light and/or noise

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, you should see a health care professional right away for treatment. Studies have shown that those who have a concussion should take a few days to rest in a quiet room with dim lighting in order to recover better. That means no work and no television.

Those who receive a blow to the eye should also seek profession health care straight away and place a cold compress over the eye, but do not apply pressure. Doing so could save your sight.

Have You Or A Loved One Suffered A Brain Or Spinal Cord Injury?

If you've suffered a brain or spinal cord injury you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.
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