Most folks remember 16-year-NHL veteran Keith Primeau for his on-ice accomplishments: Two All-Star Game appearances, 619 points in 909 games and scoring the goal to end the longest game in (modern) NHL playoff history.
But with his career now over, Primeau wants to be remembered as something else — a pioneer in hockey concussion research and treatment.
Primeau, 39, retired in 2006 after suffering his fourth concussion. He still feels the effects today.
“I’m still not able to exercise or exert high energy levels, because it makes me lightheaded,” he told the Canadian Press.
In an effort to keep this from happening to other players, Primeau is promoting the Impact Indicator. It’s a LED device with a small light worn as part of the chin strap, measuring the impact of a blow.
A green light is normal. A dangerous hit and the light will flash red.
The microsensor measures the force and duration of a hit. A red light means a level of impact that has a 50 per cent or higher probability of concussion.
Because concussion symptoms often develop over several hours, a red light takes out the guesswork about whether to remove a player from the game before another more devastating blow.
Reports indicate that “thousands” of football players in the U.S. started wearing the device after it became available for purchase last month. That includes Houston Texans WR Derrick Mason who, along with several of his teammates, has started wearing the indicator in games.
“Everything to this point has been subjective, we go to the sideline and ask our coach or trainer or parent whether they feel we’ve suffered through a possible concussive event,” said Primeau. “With this, as a coach, it would enable me to remove a player from competition, to err on the side of caution, to see if in fact (a concussion) was the case.”
To read more about Primeau’s work with concussion awareness, visit his website: Stopconcussions.com