Hockey Canada Concussion Seminar

Lois Kalchman
November 15, 2007

Canada chief medical officer Dr. Mark Aubry was one of the speakers at the extremely successful first-ever Hockey Canada Concussion Seminar that was held on Saturday November 3 at Scotiabank Place, the home of the Ottawa Senators. 

The session was held in memory of Dr. Tom Pashby a pioneer in safety in hockey not only in Canada but around the world. He has been inducted into Canada Sports Hall of Fame and is a member of the Order of Canada for the work he has done.

More than 340 people heard Dr. Aubry, also Chief Medical Officer for the International Ice Hockey Federation and a physician with the Senators, along with sports medicine specialist Dr. James Kissick and concussion guru and Think First Canada president Dr. Karen Johnston all speak on the diagnosis, treatment and return to play protocol. Toronto Maple Leaf psychologist Paul Dennis outlined some of the difficult self-imposed and peer pressures that face concussed athletes as well as the urgency to return to play created by parents and coaches.

Dentist Dr. Paul Piccininni, also a member of the IIHF medical committee, spoke on the role of mouthguards in the prevention of dental injuries and concussions while Dr. Pat Bishop chair of the Canadian Standards Association committee that certifies hockey equipment explained about certification and said that equipment must fit properly to protect the player and was explicit that helmets do not necessarily prevent concussions.

“I was very impressed with the seminar and equally impressed with the turnout and interest shown by those in the audience, particularly the trainers,” Dr. Aubry said.
“I was touched,” he said and amazed that more than 150 trainers the first line of defense in safety in hockey , joined physicians, managers, therapists, coaches and so on who got out of bed to be at the rink before the early-morning start of 7:45.

“The trainers are the safety people on the benches and cared enough for the players-athletes to attend,” he said. “The content of the seminar says it all. It revolved around the first two Concussion Statements developed in Vienna and Prague.” He mentioned they were told of ongoing research that has been done since then suggesting there may be a third statement in the not to distant future. “The subjects dealt with what we (as sports medicine physicians and on-ice safety persons) treat on a daily basis on the bench and on the ice,” he said.

The audience stayed throughout the three hour session with more than half remaining for the hour question and answer period. The panel, consisting of the above people as well as co-chairs neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Tator and sports medicine specialist Dr. Howard Winston, answered all. “The questions were most interesting,” Dr. Aubry said. “Many dealt with everyday issues that really had no simple answers. Again they dealt with subjects that touched everyone in the room.”

For a report on the event itself, click on

and for more information on the diagnosis, treatment and return to play go to, or

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]



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