Windsor Regional Hospital Metropolitan Campus, February 1, 2018. Blackburn News file photo.

WRH accepts helmet donation from U of W students

A Master’s degree project for a University of Windsor student has led to a donation to Windsor Regional Hospital.

In an effort to prevent head injuries to children who ride bicycles without helmets, a group of U of W students has donated 30 colourful helmets to the hospital’s trauma program. It’s a part of what became “Project: Brain Bucket”, involving research completed by student Daniella Mlinarevic, who pursued a Master’s in the Cognitive Neurosciences Lab.

With warmer weather and summer vacation season approaching, the helmets will go a long way to educate people on bicycle safety, according to Diane Bradford, the manager of the regional trauma program, injury prevention, at WRH.

“Each year we see a substantial increase in the number of severe traumas beginning the Victoria Day long weekend,” said Bradford in a media release. “As the warmer weather approaches and outdoor activities increase, this, unfortunately, results in the start of trauma season for WRH, and across the country.”

The students dubbed the helmets “aphasia prevention helmets”. Apashia is a communication disorder caused by damage to the brain’s language processing centres. It is common in both stroke patients as well as those suffering from head injuries.

Prevention and treatment of head injuries is the core of the research done at the university’s lab, said its director, Dr. Lori Buchanan.

“We have a series of outreach programs designed to teach people about the brain and the processes it underwrites,” said Buchanan. “These outreach programs range from a high school bike helmet awareness project to projects that work with, and for, people who have communication problems associated with some form of brain damage.”

Bradford said the helmets will be passed along to patients who are treated in the hospital’s emergency department for bike-related injuries.