The hockey doctor is in the house
Habs team physician David Mulder leads off 2012 Mini Meds
By Jim Hynes
The McGill Mini-Med School, the first program of its kind in Canada, has been offering the public a series of conferences by leading McGill medical experts since 2001. This year’s Mini-Meds, under the title “Acute Care Medicine: Making Decisions Under Fire in the Home, the Hospital and the Community,” take an in-depth look at acute care, including intensive care, emergency rooms and trauma.
Dr. David Mulder, Chief of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre, professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Club Physician for the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, takes the first shift on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with “Caring for casualties: The epidemic of sports-related injuries.”
Mulder, who first became involved in sports medicine as a McGill medical resident in the 1960s, suturing-up Redmen football players and Junior Canadiens’ hockey players, and who has been the NHL Canadiens’ Chief Physician since 1999, will discuss how sports injuries have evolved, injuries to amateur athletes, and the prevention of injuries on the sporting field as well as in the community.
Mulder says there have been changes in “virtually all aspects.” On the good news side, lacerations and eye injuries are way down due to the widespread use of helmets and face shields.
“But what we’ve seen is an increase in the number of life-threatening injuries, injuries to the larynx, like the one suffered by Canadianes forward Trent McCleary in January 2000, or like Richard Zednick had in terms of lacerations to the carotid artery.”
The biggest change, Mulder says, is in the area of concussions, “not only in elite athletes, but, and this is what worries me, in the amateur athlete, like children playing hockey and soccer. While we all get enthused with what’s happening to pro athletes, the real problem is with civilian trauma…car accidents and falls and ski accidents… these are areas where concussion has seen a major growth.”
Mulder will also share his take on concussion prevention and what he thinks can be done in terms of rules to make sport safer, including banning fighting at hockey’s highest levels.
“The goal of a fight is to create a concussion, so I’d like to see, like the NFL has done, no fighting in the NHL.”
Mini Med takes place Wednesday evenings at the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building’s Charles Amphitheatre (6th Floor), with check-in and refreshments at 6 p.m. and the lectures running form 6:30-8 p.m. For more information on the series and its schedule, on how to register, go here.