The Athletics Department at Lakehead University is responding to growing concern about head injuries in sports with a new concussion clinic at its campus in Thunder Bay, Ont.
The clinic has only been running for a few weeks, but it's already busy.
"The demand has been incredible, actually," said Dr. David McKee, the primary physician running the clinic.
"We've had a large number of players come in from the hockey arena - both guys and girls - and now that skiing has started up I expect that that will also create some demand as well."
"It sure shows that there is a need for helping to manage concussions here in Thunder Bay," he continued.
The facility, located at the University's sports medicine clinic, is open to members of Lakehead University sports teams, and to other athletes in the community.
Treatment and research
McKee said the clinic will focus on treating patients to avoid long-term impacts of concussions, such as personality changes, and chronic headaches.
Another priority will be proper planning, to make sure patients don't return to work, school, or sports too soon.
"One of my big goals is to treat them and get them better as fast as they can, but also to maintain them in a passion that they love," said McKee.
The clinic will also be a centre of research as well as treatment. McKee said he hopes to learn more about how concussions can best be managed, and when it's best for patients to return to regular activities, such as studying or driving.
"There's a number of research projects that are going to be set up out of this clinic," said McKee, " which makes it very exciting."