A new study is showing that high school athletes are still sustaining brain injuries in increasing numbers, and young athletes who suffer concussions need at least a month to recover. These findings that were published in the journal Orthopedics observed 357 high school adolescents (62% males) who were on average 15 years old and were involved in sports from September 2013 to December 2016. The researchers looked at data related to athletes to sustained concussions during this period and compared these to historical data on concussions among young athletes.
What the Study Found
The research team at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan found that 33% of participants had concussions while 14% experienced amnesia. Athletes who had one concussion during the study period needed an average of over 30 days to recover before they resumed their sport. For those who experienced recurrent concussions, the recovery period was even longer.
The most common sport that resulted in concussions was, not surprisingly, football, at 27.7%. Also, 33.1% of these athletes had prior concussions. Researchers noted that athletes who had such a history of concussions recorded slower visual-motor speed and reaction time than those who had concussions for the first time.
The Danger of Concussions
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is usually caused by a physical blow to the head. Concussions are a common occurrence in several sports especially in contact sports such as football or individual sports where participants can hit their head from falls such as skateboarding. Concussions could also occur as a result of car accidents or slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents. Some of the common symptoms of concussions include headache, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, blurry vision and confusion, slurred speech and even loss of consciousness.
Repeated concussions have been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. Symptoms do not typically begin until years after the injuries and can include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. The disease often gets worse over time and can result in dementia. CTE has been linked to deaths including suicides of former football players.
We hope these types of studies shed more light on the important steps that need to be taken to protect athletes not just in professional leagues, but also in college and high school sports. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, please contact an experienced brain injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.