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Alarming Numbers of Brain Injuries for High School Football Players

A recent news article from CBS looks at the increasing numbers of deaths we are seeing from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) related to high school football across the nation. In the past few years, around 24 high school football players have been killed, and a look at the numbers by year shows that the deaths are on the rise each year, and this an alarming trend that many are fighting to reverse.

footballOne of the things, however, that is discussed in this article is whether there are actually more deaths that are occurring in recent years, or whether there is just more information about traumatic brain injuries and their association with contact sports and more coverage in the news.  While this may seem strange at first, it becomes more clear when we realize that some deaths caused by a sports-related TBI do not happen instantly.  We often see the head injury occurring on one day and then a person dying a few days or weeks later from what is known as a secondary head trauma due to the first not being diagnosed or treated properly.In the past, if a football player got knocked unconscious, a coach would probably crack open a cloth wrapped ampule of smelling salts, wake the player up and have him sit on the bench for a few minutes before asking if he was feeling like he could play again.  This is especially more common in cases where there is a closed head injury.  As our injury attorneys have seen in various cases in Boston over the years, it is very possible to suffer a traumatic brain injury without the skull being cracked or the even any lacerations to the skin.  The reason for this is because the brain is essentially suspended in the skull rather than being affixed to the bone.  When the head is hit or makes contact with another object or the ground, the brain can shift violently, causing it to smack into the inside of the skull or a layer of tissues known as the dura.  This can result in swelling, and that, in turn, increases pressure on the brain, which can lead to a permanent or even deadly traumatic brain injury.

One of the more complicated aspects of a brain injury civil lawsuit is that the case requires the use of one or more medical experts to establish what damage has been done, how it was caused, and how It will affect the victim and his or her family.  The reason we say the family is because it may be up to family members to care for the victim for the rest of his or her life.  While he might have been a football star before the accident, he may now need help eating, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, and performing any of the tasks we do on a daily basis and for which we take the ability to perform these tasks for granted.  For this reason, you want to make sure your attorney has experience dealing with personal injury cases involving a traumatic brain injury.

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:

Brain-injury deaths in high school football players rising, January 4, 2017, By Gene J. Puskar, CBS News

More Blog Entries:

Eye Test as Means to Test for Concussion and Brain Injury, July 23, 2016, Boston Brain Injury Lawyer Blog