LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - At the beginning of the football season, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital donated “smart helmets” to every public and private high school football team in Calcasieu Parish.
So, how well did they work this season?
For Barbe High School cornerback Carl Barrow, having a smart helmet to monitor all of the hits he took this season was a huge relief.
“It’s good to just play it safe, rather than sorry,” Barrow said. “Just knowing in the back of your head that you’re gonna be safe at all times; you don’t have to worry about, ‘do I have a concussion?' 'Do I not have a concussion?’ You know, they’ll be alerted, check you out, and make everything is good.”
Each helmet distributed in August is synced up with a device that alerts athletic trainers when a player is hit higher than the threshold allowed for their position.
“Our week for one of the weeks in the season; it goes through the whole week, showing the amount of contact we had," Jamey Rasberry, director of sports medicine for Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, said. "Obviously, you can see on Friday, we had a lot more contact than during practice.”
Rasberry said they’ve worked well this season to help prevent Second Impact Syndrome.
“A concussion is something that doesn’t maybe not onset until ten minutes after, so they may be back out on the field playing," Rasberry said. "Then, they get a headache and they come off the field saying ‘oh i just got a headache, I just got dizzy’ and they’ve been playing an extra ten minutes out there without really knowing they had a concussion.”
Now, that the regular season has wrapped up, Rasberry said this technology allows him to analyze how the players are being coached.
“Having this this year and being able to see where kids are taking the impacts on the helmets that our coaches, especially in Calcasieu Parish, they have—every school has this technology—that our coaches do a really good job of teaching how to tackle and how to play football,” Rasberry said.
The helmets were funded by a $100,000 grant provided by Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.