It’s no secret the NFL has been under fire about players suffering concussions and serious brain injuries during practice and games. Although controversy surrounds the NFL’s potential liability for its role in withholding information regarding the seriousness of head and brain injuries for years, many believe this comes with the territory when playing professional football.
But now, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (“CDC”) in Atlanta show that brain injuries in youth have significantly increased, particularly in those younger kids who play football.
According to the CDC more children are visiting the emergency room with traumatic brain injuries, including concussions than ever before. The CDC recently released a data report showing that the number of children under the age of 19 suffering serious head injuries has risen 62% over the last 10 years. Approximately 7 of 10 instances of serious head injuries have occurred in young men, particularly those who engaged in high impact sports like football. Since 2001, reported traumatic brain injuries increased by close to 100,000 instances, from 153,000 in 2001 to nearly 249,000 in 2009. High school boys were nearly three times as likely as girls to suffer a brain injury while playing any sport, but in the majority of instances the young men were playing football.
There are several types of sports-related brain injuries that are likely to be encountered, such as concussions, post-concussion syndrome, second-impact syndrome, and long-term brain damage. Particularly in youth, second impact syndrome is an injury of growing concern. Second-impact syndrome occurs when an athlete still healing from a prior concussion experiences a second force-related event to the brain. Occasionally, second-impact syndrome can lead to brain swelling, coma, permanent brain-function loss, or death. This syndrome afflicts teenagers almost exclusively. Cerebral blood flow and pressure increases dramatically, which causes arteries to swell beyond capacity. According to the University of Pittsburgh, second-impact syndrome kills approximately 7 high school football players a year.
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. is currently investigating concussion injury cases on behalf of former professional football players and athletes, as well as those who may have suffered from a concussion caused by other forms of trauma such as an automobile accident, trucking accident or a slip and fall. If you or someone you love has been injured by a sports-related concussion, you may be entitled to compensation.