Concussions in hockey: Oswego State athlete, trainer assess risks


The rate of concussions has been on the rise in high contact sports, like hockey. Mike Pisarevsky of SUNY Oswego has played hockey for 12 years. In 2009, Pisarevsky experienced an injury that he felt could keep him off the ice for good. On an innocent play, he was hit into the boards, knocking off his helmet and hitting his head directly on the boards.

“I went to the hospital and I had to be transferred to another hospital cause I had bleeding in my brain. I had a cerebral hemorrhage” Pisarevsky said.

SUNY Oswego athletic trainer Elise Fitzsimmons says one of the most important things to know in regards to keeping your head protected is to make sure you are wearing your helmet correctly. This means making sure all the straps are fastened tightly and that the helmet is fitting correctly to your head. You can hear more advice about concussions from Fitzsimmons here.


Fitzsimmons said the hardest conversation to have with her athletes is over ending an athletic career to protect their brain.

“I tell my athletes, at what point do you realize that yeah,  you love the sport that you’re playing but it’s not going to be your life. Your brain is,” Fitzsimmons said.

After about a month of recovery, Pisarevsky felt he was ready to lace up the skates and get back on the ice, despite the possibility of another brain injury.

“I guess it crosses your mind a little bit but ya know, just the love for hockey over powers that,” Pisarevsky said.

Bottom line is if you think you might have a concussion, get it checked out, Fitzsimmons said.