Mr. Chair, I think the order worked out quite well, because Mr. Fisher asked some of the questions I was going to ask. There are also some things that lead into what I want to ask about, so it works out quite well.
The first thing I want to ask about is with regard to medical treatment and the protocols around that, and what has changed in the last number of years. Some of the members here have probably been through a number of meetings on this—I'm just subbing in today—so I may be behind in terms of my knowledge compared to some of the others on the committee.
In terms of medical treatment, I'll give you some of my history.
I played hockey as a young guy. I had concussions. I'm not sure exactly how many. Back then, it was kind of, “How many fingers am I holding up?” If you knew that—and maybe he'd give you a whiff of a smelling salt or something—you were back at it. The only time I can ever remember a teammate being sent for any kind of medical treatment—I think he'd been hurt in the first or second period—was when, after the game, he couldn't remember who won the game, what the score was or what town we were in. He was sent to be looked at, but they didn't know what to do with him. I'm pretty sure he played a game, maybe not the next day, but probably the next week.
I think back to my son. He's 23 now. He would have been probably 12 years old, so it was a little over 10 years ago. This wasn't a hockey injury, but we were at a hockey camp. We'd gone a few days early. It was on a lake. He was wakeboarding and got a concussion, and they said, “Well, you know, just be careful for the first couple of days of the hockey camp, but you should be good.” That was about all the medical treatment there was.
I'll be honest. Given the experience I had previously had with that, when I had a concussion a few years ago in a car accident, I just thought, what's the point? I'm not going to bother going to the hospital. I'll just get on the bike every once in a while and see how it feels—until it feels good—because they're not going to do anything anyway.
I'm assuming that's changed.
Can you tell me a little about what that looks like now when someone goes to the hospital, goes to see a doctor about a concussion? What kind of protocols do they go through now?