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Former hockey player-turned-researcher calling for better concussion care


Dr. Scott Ramsay is a former hockey player who says he fought around 70 times in his career, resulting in multiple concussions.

"I'll tell you really simply, it was hell," said Ramsay, a former WHL player who now calls North Vancouver home.

He says his symptoms included everything from severe migraines to depression.

"I had such bad photophobia—so sensitivity to light—that I'd have to sit in my parents’ living room with sunglasses during the day," said the 32-year-old.

Ramsay eventually retired due to his head injuries and has since dedicated his life to addressing the issue.

Over the past decade, he's worked as a nurse in an outpatient neurology clinic and just recently graduated from The University of British Columbia with a PhD in nursing.

His dissertation included research covering more than 20,000 B.C. children who've suffered concussions over the past few years. He says he believes it's the largest sample study of its kind in B.C. history.

"What we found is most concussed children in B.C. don't get a follow-up visit. So we're talking about just over 75 per cent," he said.

Ramsay says a follow-up visit could be life-changing for head injury victims.

“If you do have a timely follow-up visit – so a follow-up visit within 28 days of your initial concussion diagnosis—then we can prevent persistent post-concussive symptoms from happening," said Ramsay.

Ramsay adds that his findings also point to a lack of funding and emphasis on concussion care, particularly for children.

While he's seen significant change over the past decade regarding head injury awareness and detection, he says there's plenty more that can be done. He also is an advocate for adding more safety changes for youth sports, such as eliminating fighting in junior hockey and raising the age for when body checking is legal.

"I want to prevent this from happening to someone else,” Ramsay said. Top Stories

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