March 10, 2017
The Hidden Dangers of Concussions
We’re often told that injuries “come with the territory” of participating in team sports. Players commonly walk away from games with scrapes, cuts, bruises, broken bones, sprains, and even short-lived head injuries like concussions. Concussions, technically speaking, are usually caused by minor head trauma that can seem rather undramatic at the time. Most concussion victims recover within minutes or even right away.
As a result, most coaches, nurses, doctors, and other sport medicine professionals in Atlanta, Georgia and elsewhere have treated concussions like they had no lasting effects. New research suggests differently, however. It’s reported that as many as 3.8 million concussions happen every year between all levels of sport. In some of these cases, doctors are finding out that the accumulation of concussions—even when they’re undramatic—can lead to traumatic brain injury and even brain disease.
There’s More to TBI Than Singular Events
Traumatic brain injury, often referred to TBI, is a classification of head injuries that are traumatic in nature and usually occur during accidents such as sports-related collisions, car accidents, or other types of slip and fall accidents or work accidents. They usually include symptoms such as loss of consciousness, confusion, headache, dizziness, and loss of memory. Most TBI symptoms occur immediately following the accident, but in some cases they can appear in a delayed manner. This is often when symptoms are the most dangerous.
The same can be said for concussion-related symptoms. In cases that involve TBI symptoms and brain disease which result after years of accumulated concussions, most victims show no signs of symptoms until 1-10 years after the concussions occur. When brain scans are performed, it’s discovered that victims suffer brain damage from multiple head injuries even if those injuries seemed minor at the time.
In certain cases, gradually-appearing symptoms such as confusion, severe headaches, dizziness, loss of memory, and an altered mental state can eventually lead to brain deterioration and degenerative brain conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for either condition.
Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury One Step at a Time
While a single concussion may not seem dangerous, it’s important for anyone who experiences a concussion along with symptoms such as those listed above to seek medical advice as quickly as possible. In addition, action should be taken to reduce the amount of concussions accrued overall. Protective gear and maneuvers should be required in team sports at all times.
Helmets, of course, are common practice during contact team sports and help reduce the damage of major head injuries, but even with a helmet in place, concussions happen on a regular basis. Even if a concussion victim wears a helmet and doesn’t complain of any symptoms at the time of injury, they should take care to receive medical aid. Brain injuries are immensely complicated in nature and can lead to lifelong debilitations as we’re now realizing.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a sports injury or other type of injury that has resulted in symptoms commonly seen with a traumatic brain injury, you may be comforted to know that you don’t need to suffer alone. Legal aid may be available to you depending on the nature of your case and when the incident occurred. Bey & Associates can pair you with an experienced Atlanta, GA traumatic brain injury lawyer who may be able to help you recover some of your recovery costs. Contact our Atlanta office to learn more.