Concussions have been named the latest “invisible epidemic.” With four highly-publicized suicides of former NFL players, America finally seems to be taking notice of the inherent risks associated with football.
According to this article, the NFL, who has been named in a class action lawsuit brought by more than 3,800 former NFL players claiming that the NFL concealed its knowledge about the serious side effects associated with concussions, recently gave a $30 million grant to the NIH for research on brain injuries and other medical issues related to athletics.
Head injuries, including concussions, are a serious medical condition that should not be overlooked or understated. An athlete who suffers a concussion is up to four times more likely to sustain a second concussion, according to neurologists. Multiple concussions can cause serious and lasting neurological consequences. When a football player returns to play before he has fully recovered from the initial concussion, the athlete is at serious risk for second impact syndrome (SIS). SIS can result in massive swelling of the brain and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of blood flow to the brain.
Athletes who have suffered multiple concussions or SIS are at an increased risk for learning difficulties and other neuropsychological difficulties, such as difficulties processing new information, difficulties concentrating, memory loss, and behavioral problems.
According to medical experts, the only cure for a brain injury is to prevent the injury from happening in the first place. Some recommendations for preventing head injuries in football include the following:
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
- If a player has experienced or shows signs of head trauma (loss of consciousness, visual disturbances, headache, inability to walk correctly, obvious disorientation, memory loss), obtain immediate medical attention. Do not resume play until a medical expert has approved resumed activities.
- Maintain the proper posture during a tackle or block by leaning forward and keeping your head up in a neutral position.
As we discussed in this post, the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the marketing practices and claims of Riddell and other leading helmet manufacturers. The effects of traumatic brain injuries can be exacerbated if they go ignored for too long. If you or a loved one experiences a head injury, such as a concussion, medical attention should be obtained immediately.
If you or a loved one has suffered a football head injury, contact the Chicago football head injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action to obtain compensation for football head injuries.