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Recent Study Shows Increased Number Of Concussions In High School Athletes – By A PA Sports Injury Lawyer

According to a new national study by an Ohio State University professor, Joseph Rosenthal, concussion rates have more than doubled between 2005 and 2012 among high school athletes.  The study was published online in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, and researchers analyzed injury reporting data from 100 high schools across the U.S. *Source: http://news.osu.edu (Study: Concussion Rate in High-School Athletes More Than Doubled in 7-Year Period)

The research showed that high school athletes sustained over 4000 concussions in the following sports:

  • boys football,
  • boys and girls soccer,
  • girls volleyball,
  • boys and girls basketball,
  • boys wrestling,
  • boys baseball, and
  • girls softball.

In addition, head injuries increased significantly in the following 5 sports:

  • football,
  • boys basketball,
  • boys wrestling,
  • boys baseball, and
  • girls softball.

Out of all of the sports, football players sustained the highest number of concussions.  The study also showed a spike in concussions after the 2008-2009 academic year.

As we have discussed in other sports accident articles relating to traumatic brain injuries, players who continue to play with concussions are at a higher risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury if they sustain second impacts.  Athletes playing with concussions may also die if they are hit again in the head.  See The Devastating Effects Of A Second Head Impact After A Concussion In Contact Sports.

Though the data is alarming, researchers say that the increased numbers may be due to increased awareness and reporting of head injuries.  Concussions are being diagnosed more consistently because coaches and parents are being educated about the signs of concussions.  In addition, coaches and players are also educated about the importance of benching the player after a concussion. 

In addition, researchers say the spike coincides with a time many states began strengthening their youth concussion guidelines.

These guidelines are important because they provide education and increase awareness about concussions and traumatic brain injuries.  Some states require a doctor’s clearance before a youth athlete can go back to play after a concussion.  This is crucial in preventing second head impacts, which can lead to permanent traumatic brain injuries.

Related: Concussions in Children & Sports – Are Full Contact Sports Really Necessary for Young Children?

What Athletes Can Do After A Brain Injury Due To A Second Impact

If high school athletes are not properly evaluated after suffering concussions and sustain brain injuries after second impacts, the coaches, schools or youth leagues may be liable for the players’ injuries.

If a coach does not know the signs of concussion, is not properly trained or does not have the qualifications to be a coach, then he/she is likely liable for an athlete’s brain injury.  In addition, the school may also be liable because it hired an unqualified coach or did not make sure the coach had the training on how to recognize the signs of concussions and the risks of brain injuries associated with concussions

If your child sustained a traumatic brain injury while playing a sport and you would like to explore your child’s legal rights, call Daniel J. O’Brien, a PA and NJ sports injury lawyer.  Mr. O’Brien is a life-long athlete and has helped many athletes who were injured and hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence while playing.  Call 877.944.8396 to schedule a FREE consultation


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