Contact Sports Spectators Do Not Think About Player Head Injuries



cbs high res 150x150 brooks schuelke

Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
Schuelke Law PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 4, 2019 – Concussions are common when playing contact sports and even most of the fans understand there is some risk to the players involved. Broken bones are one-thing, serious head injuries are another.

Head injuries involved in contact sports have players, coaches and parents concerned. Head injuries kill. And if by chance they do not kill right away, they can do extensive and serious brain damage that ultimately may take a player’s life due to disease or by their own hand.

Between 2017 and 2018, at least 291 concussions were sustained in the National Football League (NFL). In English rugby, per 1,000 hours of play, there was, on average, one concussion per match, a three-fold increase from five years ago. Furthermore, a 2017 study of 111 deceased NFL players revealed the that 110 had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

An in-depth study of the collisions players had sustained suggested that 20 to 45 percent of players run the risk of sustaining CTE. Severe, repetitive concussions greatly increase the risk of dementia, depression, cognitive issues, substance abuse and short-term memory loss. For spectators, the risk of serious brain injury does not seem to diminish the entertainment value of the sport. In fact, fans seem to relish the big hit or the big blow.

Despite the fact that concussions are prevalent in sports today, many improvements in how concussions are dealt with are helping injured players. What is more, awareness of head injuries in contact sports is growing. “Players are now more readily willing to express concern about a head injury, a fact that increases the ability to diagnose and treat a concussion sooner rather than later,” indicated Austin traumatic brain injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke. Coaches and medical personnel also pay more attention to players and look for signs of concussion. The increase in the ability to diagnose brain injury sooner is beneficial to players, especially since one of the bigger risks of permanent problems is athletes sustaining a second concussion before they are healed from the first.

The ability to diagnose concussions earlier is a huge success. However, with the advancements in football helmets, which reduce skull fractures, players are increasingly using their heads during games. This is a counterintuitive move that may mean concussions remain a serious issue in contact sports. And it is not just football or rugby that result in head injuries. It is other sports such as boxing, soccer, hockey, baseball and even cricket.

While a solution to the problem of sustaining concussions in contact sports is partway there, more action needs to be taken in contact sports. Human brains are not fully developed until the mid-20s, thus any head injuries sustained prior to that are often missed in high school players, a possibly deadly precursor in later life if the student chooses to continue to play contact sports.

“If you play contact sports and feel you are not being given proper training in relation to concussions, have sustained a concussion or suspect your training is not adequate to prevent head injuries, you can talk to me about your legal rights,” said Schuelke.