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Report: MMA Fighters Shown to Suffer Brain Injury in Third of Matches

Mixed martial arts of “MMA” as it it often called includes the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as well as many other leagues and competitions. There is no question that these MMA fighters and events are becoming more popular after being watched by only a small group of fans for such a long time.  Rhonda Rousey has become a household name and is currently starring in major Hollywood motion pictures, and everyone was waiting to see what happened during her much publicized match with Holly Holm.  Unfortunately, that did not go so well for Rousey as everyone now knows, but that may be the least of these fighters’ problems, according to a recent news feature in the Irish Times.

457973__1As discussed in this article, around one third of all matches will result in one or both fighters suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI).   There have been a lot of studies on this after the recent releases about the injuries to NFL players, as well as the death of Joao Carvalho, who was a mixed martial arts fighter.  He dies as a result of complications stemming from a traumatic brain injury.

He was rushed to the hospital following the fight (which appears to be a quite common occurrence) and was taken into emergency surgery, because he was suffering from what is believed to be an intracranial hemorrhage.  In other words, he was bleeding into his brain.

As our Boston personal injury attorneys have seen in cases dealing with a traumatic brain injury, when blood starts to form a pool or collection between the dura (protective membrane that surrounds the brain and spine) and the skull it is known as an epidural hematoma. This pooled blood will form a clot, and this will create pressure on the brain and cause serious and permanent personal injury or death.  If, on the other hand, a clot forms under the dura and between the brain itself, which one might expect, this is called a subdural hematoma. This can cause damage to the arachnoid layer of the human brain as well resulting in an arachnoid hematoma.

While each one of these types of traumatic brain injury hematomas occur in different parts of the human brain, and some are more difficult to treat than others, they can result in pressure that cuts off the flow of blood to areas of the brain where it is needed.  This will cause the victim to pass out and could cause many other problems.  If it occurs in the area of the brain that controls breathing, the patient might stop breathing, for example.

While we often associate traumatic brain injury with sports, and those are the most publicized cases, it happens more often from car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and other types of personal injury.  The reason people are often more concerned when a traumatic brain injury happens to a football player is because these serious personal injuries should not be happening on a regular basis during a game that is supposed to be fun.  While there is no way to avoid driving or walking down the street, football or MMA is supposed be a sport or hobby, and that should not unnecessarily result in brain damage.

If you have suffered personal injury in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Study shows MMA fighters suffer brain injury in one third of bouts, April 12, 2016, Irish Times, By Muiris Houston

More Blog Entries:

Snaras v. Richard Lundgren, Inc.: Wrongful Death in Massachusetts, April 7, 2016, Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Blog