Hockey is an inherently dangerous sport. Like football, there it is a contact sport, where body checking and player fighting is pervasive. But unlike football, there is minimal protective gear to protect hockey players from blows to the head and body. As a result, there are a significant number of head injuries suffered by hockey players every year. In fact, studies have shown that concussions account for approximately 18 percent of all hockey injuries.
Recent medical studies have shown that body-checking is responsible for a significant number of concussions. One study showed that, in leagues that allow body checking is allowed for 11- and 12-year-olds, an estimated 700 concussions occur each season. Other reports have shown that kids who play hockey on teams that allow body-checking are three times more likely to sustain a concussion and other serious injuries than those who play in leagues that do not allow body-checking.
Brain Changes Following Hockey Hits to the Head
Some experts have called for an end to intentional hitting and fighting during hockey. Blows to the head and body, like those frequently suffered in a hockey game, can cause concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. When a hockey player suffers blows to the head and/or body, the athlete can experience a number of changes in the brain, including injuries to brain cells, loss of oxygen to brain cells, and potentially damage specific areas of the brain abut sharp interior surfaces of the skull.
If multiple concussions or other head injuries are suffered, the brain becomes unable to compensate for these changes to the brain and serious lasting consequences can be result. If a hockey player suffers multiple concussions, without adequate recovery time, the athlete may experience secondary impact syndrome, which can cause learning difficulties, memory loss, and concentration problems.
Ways to Minimize Risk of Hockey-related Head Injuries
Experts offer a number of recommendations for ways in which hockey players and the National Hockey League can minimize the risk of traumatic head injuries, including:
- Wearing proper equipment, such as shoulder pads and helmets
- Instituting heftier fines for unnecessary hits and
- Staying out of the game until the hockey player can be evaluated by a medical professional for a concussion or other head injury
Liability for Hockey Head Injuries
If you or someone you love has suffered a hockey head injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The Chicago hockey head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC have considerable experience representing athletes who are the victims of sports-related injuries, including football head injuries and hockey head injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a hockey head injury, contact the Chicago hockey head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action to obtain compensation for hockey head injuries.