U.S. Naval Academy researchers began a research project hoping to help design a more protective helmet for football players in order to reduce serious head injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Murray Korman, the Naval Academy physics professor who directed the project with one of his students, developed a simple model to understand how brain injuries occur in helmet-to-helmet hits and to study the concussive forces of such hits.
Rather than looking at the anatomy of the brain injuries, Korman studied the physics behind the concussion.
A pair of helmets from the Naval Academy's football program were stuffed with material inside the helmets to simulate the players' heads, brains and fluids inside the skulls. The helmets were then hung on a clothing line and swung toward each other to simulate hits. Vibrations from the hits were measured. Click here to learn all the details of the model.
Though the model was rough, Korman said that the model suggests that brain injuries may be lessened if some type of padding or material that can absorb impact is used on the outside of the helmets.
Korman further stated that car bumpers are made of material that crumple and breakup in a car crash, absorbing some of the collision. As a result, this helps the drivers and passengers in the cars from being thrown around as much. Korman believes that helmets can be designed like car bumpers to reduce brain injuries.
Brain injuries sustained while playing contact sports can be serious and permanent. Even a mild concussion can lead to a traumatic brain injury later down the road if not medically evaluated and treated properly.
Further, traumatic brain injuries from playing contact sports can result from someone's negligence. For example, a coach or a trainer allowing a player to play in a game without proper medical evaluation after sustaining a mild concussion or letting a player use a faulty helmet can result in a traumatic brain injury.
If you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of playing contact sports, contact a traumatic brain injury lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to discuss your legal rights.