Hurray, it’s finally football season! Tomorrow TCU takes on Arkansas and Sunday the Cowboys – Giants rivalry resumes.
After last week’s tragic weather in Houston and soon in the Florida area, we could all use a diversion from bad news. But many football players face their own crisis every time they play.
Each tackle can cause a concussion which can accumulate over the course of a football career. The level of brain damage they suffer came to light when former professional players sued the NFL to recover for their permanent brain injuries and scientific research showed permanent brain damage to many players.
Those medical studies could now be helpful in shaping auto accident treatment and lawsuits.
Mechanics of a football and auto accident head injury
Each blow to the head to an offensive lineman averages a brutal 25.8 G-force. The force of taking a hit in the game is roughly equivalent to driving a car into a wall or another vehicle at 30 m.p.h. What happens to the brain at the moment of these impacts?
First, the player’s (or driver’s) brain bounces off the inside of his skull, which bruises his brain’s gray matter. Researchers have compared this to shaking an egg so that the egg yoke hits the inside of the shell. However the worst problem occurs deeper inside the brain where the tissue is bruised and contorted.
Silent damage to the brain
Perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of a concussion is its initial subtlety. Confusion, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms may immediately following a blow to the head, but often these symptoms are minor or unapparent or may be delayed for hours. In fact, a football player might be able to get back out on the field without feeling any adverse effects to his performance.
This lack of warning signals can place the player in extreme danger. He doesn’t get the treatment he needs and he can re-injure before the first concussion has healed.
Drivers face the same risks. You may not experience obvious symptoms after a wreck, despite sustaining serious damage.
Once is bad; twice can be deadly
A player takes a blow to the head an average of 62 times each game. Each blow increases the chances of a second concussion and the likelihood of suffering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE irises from repeated blows to the brain. The condition is associated with football players and boxers, but can happen to anybody who sustains a second concussion before the first has healed. Over time, CTE can impair memory, judgment, balance and impulse control and may result in aggressive behavior, depression and dementia.
While a driver usually just hits his head one time, if he should sustain a second blow or impact, that can also lead to CTE. A personal injury lawyer sees multi-vehicle collisions where two or more concussions are suffered in the crash.
My job is to remain up-to-date on the latest medical research to recover damages for auto accident victims. I urge anybody who suspects he or she has suffered a concussion to seek medical attention. Your early treatment is essential to your long-term health.