Two Montrealers Create First Ever Concussion Certification Course . A No – Brainer


Mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, can be defined as a short-lived loss of brain function due to head trauma that resolves spontaneously. With concussion, function may be interrupted but there is no structural damage to the brain.

Mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, can be defined as a short-lived loss of brain function due to head trauma that resolves spontaneously. With concussion, function may be interrupted but there is no structural damage to the brain.

I had my first concussion at the age of thirteen – Rugby will do that to a skinny kid with a big head.By repeating the above paragraph – I may be exhibiting a symptom of that injury. This is exactly the reason Chris Costello and Ronny Varga are implementing a concussion certification program in Montreal. A cutting edge organization that Costello and Varga hope will end all second guessing when it comes to recognizing and dealing with the effects of a trauma to the head.

” If you Google concussion …” Says current occupational therapist and future M.D Costello. “There are thousands of sites emitting every fact known about concussions. What is important is the anatomy of the brain and what effects an impact will provoke in each region. Say your child is a mild – mannered athlete and suddenly they become a ‘ daredevil on ice ‘ after a hit to the head . Chances are this change of judgement is due to a damaged frontal lobe . If a parent or coach possesses this knowledge ,treatment can be implemented quicker and the long term prognosis is close to perfect.”

According to Varga, the chief physiotherapist for the Montreal Impact soccer club from 2003 – 2005 ,  there are too many variables involved with head injuries to take any chances. As a soccer Dad, Varga sees no room for error where his kids are concerned and believes every parent should take the same precautions. For this reason – Varga and Costello decided to use their ‘ heads ‘ and create a company named reACT.

” We are giving our concussion recognition and prevention certification program to coaches, referees and phys Ed instructors of different sports associations and schools. Coaches and teachers will be instructed with a manual – a condensed ‘ how to ‘ version of recognizing the symptoms of a concussion.” States Costello whose training as a future doctor included stints with the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers of the NFL as well as the Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Allouettes..

” Call it a CPR course for the head. Given the spotlight surrounding head trauma, it is about time something like this is made available.We will be giving all of our students USB keys and a power point presentation. Our students ( coaches, parents etc ) must instruct their staffs in order to be certified.”

The brain floats in cerebrospinal fluid and is encased in the skull. These protections allow it to withstand many of the minor injuries that occur in day to day life. However, if there is sufficient force to cause the brain to bounce against the rigid bones of the skull, then there is potential for injury. While temporary loss of consciousness due to injury means that a concussion has taken place, most concussions occur without the patient being knocked out. A fact which makes the certification process that much more important as educators attempt to ensure a safety net around their teams.

Chris Costello has a Bachelor of Science degree in OccupationalTherapy as well as chemistry. Ronny Varga also holds two degrees. A bachelors in Physiology and Physiotherapy respectively. Varga, a devoted husband and father of two – is also the proprietor of Action Sport Physio located in Montreal West. He recently expanded to 5000 sq.feet and has ten medical professionals under his watch.

This dynamic duo’s goals are simple. To be seen as the Canadian leaders and visionaries when it comes to concussion certification and management. Upon completion , the highest protocols would be implemented to protect athletes at every level and every age group. Protocols assembled through a collection of evidence – based research and consultation.

Occupational Therapists , Physiotherapists, Athletic Therapists, Psychologists, Physicians and professional athletes have all been consulted to enable the greatest certification possible.

Max Pacioretty, the Canadiens forward who knows all too well the effects of a concussion – has been approached as a possible spokesman for reACT and according to Costello , there is a great chance ‘Patches’ will be signing on once the Habs’ season is finalized.

Max Pacioretty, Chris Costello and Ronny Varga

If all goes according to plan – this pair of Montreal natives will ensure their certificate program is not only recognized yet legislated at the highest governmental levels.

A heads – up if there ever was one …

If you believe someone you know may be experiencing concussion – like symptoms , contact Chris or Ronny @ 1 438 82 react (73228) reACTcanada.org

If you believe someone you know may be experiencing concussion – like symptoms, contact Chris or Ronny @ 1 438 82 react (73228) reACTcanada.org

This – I do not mind repeating…

Go to their Website REact Canada

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9 Comments

  1. Chris Bellman

     /  March 8, 2012

    Nice work. So much needs to be done re concussion and head injuries in sports.

    Pacioretty with the Blue Jays cap kinda strange. Nice to see. I think he is from Connecticut so I thought he would be a Yanks or Mets fan.

    Reply
  2. Ann

     /  March 8, 2012

    So important to educate those working closest to our children. Way to go Chris and Ronny for taking for the first step. Let’s hope our schools and coaches catch on and use this wonderful program.

    Reply
    • Yes – very important. Contact them or inform your schools , parents etc about these guys. Thank you for reading Ann !

      Reply
  3. Michelle MacLeod

     /  March 9, 2012

    Nice to see this published so it creates awareness to athletics,students,schools, parents etc. Great job guys. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Elena

     /  March 10, 2012

    Very goof initiative. I think an interesting and an important issue is the effect of repeated and undetected concussions, especially in kids playing sports and athletes, and potential permanent brain damage.

    Reply
    • You are correct – personally I have had five concussions over the years and I sometimes wonder what is going on inside my brain and if it will deteriorate faster….thanks for reading and pass the word to everyone !
      Sincerely,
      Rick

      Reply
  5. This is a great intitiative by Chris and Ron, and very important information for all those who work with children and young athletes. I am Head of the Sacred Heart School of Montreal, and I am delighted that Chris and Ron have accepted my invitation to come to our school on March 19 to run a seminar for our faculty.

    Shawn O’Donnell

    Reply
    • Fantastic – It is so important what they are doing ?
      Thank you for reading – if you guys have any events that you would like publicity for let me know.
      Rick

      Reply

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