As we approach the fall season, we are constantly reminded of “Back to School” and the fall sports that it brings. Football is in the air, whether it is high school, college or the NFL, and with it comes the alarming risk of concussion-type injuries.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TMI). It is generally caused by a direct blow to the head, or by an indirect blow to the body, causing the brain to strike the inner skull resulting in some type of neurological impairment. Impairments include headache, nausea, difficulties with concentration, memory issues, emotional (irritability and sadness), sleep disturbances and balance and coordination effects. Concussions are common, especially when participating in contact sports, such as football and soccer. Although most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, there are some alarming statistics and reason for concern:
- There are 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year;
- Football is the most common sport with concussion risk for males (75% chance for concussion)
- Soccer is the most common sport with concussion risk for females (50% chance for concussion):
- Impact speed of a football player tackling a stationary player is 25 mph;
- Impact speed of a soccer ball being headed by player is 70 mph;
- Some studies suggest that females are twice as likely to sustain a concussion as males!
Motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian collisions, bicycle accidents, physical violence, and falls (particularly with young children and older adults) are also common risk factors to sustain concussive type injuries. After one sustains a concussion, the levels of brain chemicals are altered. It usually takes about a week (in a mild case) for the levels to stabilize. More severe concussions can have lasting effects, far beyond weeks, even to the point where bleeding in the brain can be fatal.
Whether you’re an athlete, or just drive a vehicle, the risk of head injury is one that can not be taken lightly. Potential complications include epilepsy, post-concussion syndrome, post traumatic headaches and vertigo, and cumulative effects of multiple brain injuries.
If you sustain a head injury, seek the appropriate medical care and treatment. If the injury may be a result of the negligent or intentional conduct of a third person or organization, contact the Heiting & Irwin law office to discuss your legal rights.