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Study examines brain trauma and death in football

Football is an ingrained activity throughout Pennsylvania. It can be a dangerous sport to play. Just how dangerous is only now beginning to be fully understood. With the violence that is inherent in the game, there are inevitable injuries. Unfortunately, many of these are head injuries that result in brain trauma. Studies are constantly being conducted and information examined to determine the frequency of a traumatic brain injury in young football players.

Data accrued in the decade from 2005 to 2014 found that a nationwide average of 2.8 fatalities occurred from football injuries to the brain and spinal cord for high school and college players. The data came from the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research (NCCSIR) with researchers assessing the deaths from these types of injuries suffered in football from the years listed above. The athletes were assessed based on their age, the level at which they were playing, what position they played, the injury they suffered, what medical care they received, and the listed cause of death. There was a total of 28 deaths. 24 involved high schoolers. Four were college players. All the college players had a brain injury. 22 of the high schoolers had a head or brain injury. Subdural hematoma was the most common cause of death.

For the high school players, four of the 22 who died had a concussion within a month of the event. In three of the four, it was deemed to have been connected to a second impact. 20 of the high school deaths happened while the game was being played or during the season. 17 were connected to the player tackling another player or being tackled himself. With the college players, two of the deaths were in the regular season and two were in the spring. In eight of the 28 deaths, the players went head first or had their heads down at the time of impact.

When a young athlete suffers brain trauma while playing football, there can be numerous consequences. Medical expenses can accrue, there can be the need for extensive treatment, or he might need daily care for the rest of his life. In a worst case scenario, the head injury can lead to death. Those who believe there was negligence on the part of a football program that led to injury or death to a loved one need to understand their rights to be compensated. Speaking to a legal professional experienced in brain injury can help.

Source: healio.com, "Study identifies number of brain, spinal cord injury deaths among high school, college football players," Jan. 19, 2017

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