Limiting Concussions in Sports a Major Focus
Sep 18, 2012
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 17, 2012 – It’s time someone made recommendations to reduce traumatic brain injuries in sports.
“It almost goes without saying that the world of sports has lagged behind in doing something about reducing the number of traumatic brain injuries that occur every year. Traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, are life-altering, brain-altering experiences, often affecting balance, judgment and memory,” explained Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P. “Finally, a series of suggestions were approved by Ivy League presidents in July 2012.”
Consider the case of a local college rugby player who was slammed into the ground during a play and sustained a vicious thump to the head. The player thought it was not a big deal and did not see a doctor. Later, frequent headaches dogged the player, reading became very difficult and sleep was almost impossible. On checking in with a physician, the player was diagnosed with a brain contusion, or bruised brain.
“The symptoms eventually receded except for one – the loss of smell. On top of that, the player was told not to play contact sports again, as the risk of another head trauma is too high,” outlined Schuelke.
Another recent case in the media was the death of Owen Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania football captain who hanged himself. A study of his brain revealed he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the result of multiple head traumas. His mother said he had started playing football at the age of 10, but he had never been diagnosed as having a concussion and had not shown any of the usual side effects that indicate brain trauma. Over his lifespan, he had taken thousands of little hits, and it eventually led to CTE.
These and other stories were the motivating force behind the Ivy League making a decision to do something about head trauma, and not just in the sport of football. The committee’s recommendations will be in effect for the 2012 academic year and will focus on brain safety for soccer, lacrosse, hockey, football and other sports where head trauma is common.
Although the measures may not be as comprehensive as they could be, they are a major step in the right direction. Every athlete deserves the chance to be informed and protected from CTE.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
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Austin, Texas 78703-4868
Call (512) 476-4944