Concussion in Sports
Brain Injury Lawyers
Concussion is defined as a traumatically induced
alteration in mental status, not necessarily with loss of
consciousness, and is a common form of sports-related injury.
Traumatic brain injury is common in contact sports,
with an estimated 250,000 concussions and an average of eight deaths
due to head injuries occurring every year in football alone. Twenty
percent of football players suffer concussion during a single football
season, and some more than once. Repeated concussions can lead to brain
atrophy and cumulative neuropsychological deficits. Repeated
concussions occurring within a short period can be fatal.
Unfortunately, many physicians, coaches, athletes,
and athletic trainers trivialize and dismiss the dangerous possibility
of a traumatic brain injury and allow a hurt young person to continue
Repeated concussions can pre-dispose the brain to
vascular congestion from autoregulatory dysfunction. The congestion
leads to elevation of pressure and brain swelling.
Amnesia and confusion following an impact to the
head are the hallmarks of concussion. Amnesia associated with
concussion can be instantaneous, or delayed by several minutes. The
delayed onset of amnesia or post-concussion symptoms demonstrates a
pathological process occurring gradually. This entire process is missed
entirely if the athlete is returned to the event too early.
The Colorado Medical Society has set forth
guidelines for the management of concussions in sports. Categorizing
severity of concussion into three grades, recommendations regarding
treatment and continuing participation attach to each grade. These
guidelines are set forth below:
"Grade No. 1: Confusion Without Amnesia, No Loss of Consciousness. Remove from contest. Examine immediately and every five minutes for the development of amnesia
or post-concussive symptoms at rest and with exertion. Permit to return
to contest if amnesia does not appear and no symptoms appear for at
least twenty minutes.
Grade No. 2: Confusion With Amnesia, No Loss of Consciousness.
Remove from contest and disallow return. Examine frequently for signs
of evolving intercranial pathology. Re-examine the next day. Permit
return to practice after one full week without symptoms.
Grade No. 3: Loss of Consciousness.
Transport from field to nearest hospital by ambulance (with cervical
spine immobilization if indicated). Perform thoroughneurologic
evaluation emergently. Admit to hospital if signs of pathology are
detected. If findings are normal, instruct family for overnight
observation. Permit return to practice only after two full weeks
Prolonged unconsciousness, persistent mental
status alterations, worsening post-concussion symptoms, or
abnormalities on neurologic examination require urgent neurosurgical
consultation or transfer to a trauma center."
The overwhelming concern is that those sustaining
concussion during sports activity are immediately and promptly treated.
The risk of second impact syndrome is significant and its consequences
severe. In "second impact syndrome" the victim is thought to have
sustained a second concussion while still symptomatic from an earlier
concussion. The victim often suffers cerebral vascular congestion
leading to malignant brain swelling and marked increase in intercranial
pressure. Brain swelling is many times difficult, if not impossible, to
If you or someone you know has been injured
or suffered Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI,
you need the assistance of The Scarlett Law Group.
today to speak with a California Personal Injury Attorney.