Monday, August 26, 2013

Blazers re-examine medical policies

Daily News Sports Editor

The Kamloops Blazers, under veteran trainer Colin (Toledo) Robinson, have re-examined their medical procedures and are quite content with what they do in attempts to safeguard their players.
Jordan Boyd, a 16-year-old forward with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan, collapsed and died during an Aug. 12 on-ice training session.
“Automatically, right away you start looking at what we do here in Kamloops,” Robinson said while watching players on the ice during his WHL team’s training camp at Interior Savings Centre. “Are we doing as much as we possibly can to make sure these things don’t happen? It makes everybody revisit how they handle things and what they do.”
In the case of the Blazers, it meant that Robinson spoke with the team’s two doctors – Dr. Sven Kip and Dr. Todd Ring – just to see if they might be missing anything.
They weren’t able to come up with anything.
As things now stand, any player who is planning to attend the Blazers’ training camp, whether rookie or veteran, has to visit with his family doctor before coming to Kamloops.
“We have a preseason medical form that they have to have filled out before they come,” Robinson said. “Then we have a second medical that we do when our numbers get down.”
That second form involves Drs. Kip and Ring.
“They go over the guys from head to toe,” Robinson said. “And we have another medical form that they do again, and we go from there.”
While results of an autopsy performed following Boyd’s death haven’t been released, it is believed that the Halifax native suffered a heart malfunction of some kind.
“Dr. Ring and I were talking about it,” Robinson said, “and he summed it up best when he said, ‘We can do all the testing in the world, as we do with lots of these athletes, and at the end of the day that stuff is going to happen.’
“It’s a sad, sad thing and it’s a scary thing, but it’s just a reality of life.”
Robinson added that all he and other training staffs can do is be prepared as best they can for when these situations occur.
“The reality is that if you look at all of junior hockey . . . thankfully these types of situations are rare,” he said. “They happen hardly at all. It’s not a time to panic or to over-react. It’s a time to make sure you have all your things lined up and ready to go.”

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