Navigation Links
Football-related catastrophic brain injuries on the rise
Date:4/16/2012

Catastrophic brain injuries associated with full-contact football appear to be rising, especially among high school students, according to a new report.

The increase is alarming and indicates more coaches and athletic trainers should change how they teach the fundamental skills of the game, according to researchers based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Until recently, the number of football-related brain injuries with permanent disability in high school had remained in the single digits since 1984. However, the tally rose to 10 injuries in 2008 and 2009, and there were 13 in 2011, according to the latest catastrophic football injury research annual report from the UNC-based National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.

"These 2011 numbers are the highest since we began collecting catastrophic brain injury data," said Fred Mueller, Ph.D., the report's lead author, director of the center and professor emeritus of exercise and sports science in the College of Arts and Sciences. "This is a major problem."

About 4.2 million football players compete nationwide, including 1.1 million high schoolers.

The center has collected data and published annual reports on catastrophic football injuries, including fatalities, disabilities and serious injuries, for 48 years. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Federation of State High School Associations and the American Football Coaches Association fund the research.

The center's work is believed to be directly responsible for nearly eliminating football fatalities, as well as drastically reducing the number of cervical cord injuries to single digits, between the late 1960s and the early 1990s.

Since 1977, about 67 percent of football-related catastrophic injuries have been suffered by players as they made tackles. Mueller said part of the problem is that despite being prohibited in 1976, head-to-head contact such as butt-blocking, face tackling or spearing tackles is still occurring. These strategies make the head the initial and primary contact point with an opposing player, and often lead to cervical spine fractures or permanent brain injuries.

Some players recover fully after surgery and rehabilitation following injuries. However, many only recover partially, living with paralysis or mental deficiency, relying on intensive lifetime medical care. Since 1984, there have been 488 cervical cord and cerebral injuries with incomplete recovery, including 164 brain injuries, of which 148 were among high schoolers. Additionally, the years between 2001 to 2010 saw a 25 percent jump in football-related disability brain injuries over the previous decade, increasing to 66 from 52 incidents among all types of players.

Other potential reasons for the apparent increase in brain injuries may be because of heightened awareness of the issue. Also, this year's report updated the number of football participants. However, Mueller noted that neither of these factors likely influenced the overall figures, since the report's definition of catastrophic injuries (defined as injuries that resulted in brain or spinal cord injury or skull or spine fracture, which involved some disability at the time of the accident) and data collection methods have remained unchanged.

Mueller said reversing the trend required several changes, which some in the football community are already implementing. Coaches must be well versed in the signs and symptoms of concussions, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and light sensitivity, and pull players from games if they exhibit those indicators. Players should not return to play until cleared by a physician. Teams also should hold pre-season meetings to discuss concussions, conduct medical evaluations of all players and emphasize that the head should not be used in tackling or blocking.

The report's recommendations also note that schools should hire coaches who teach proper fundamental skills, and retain athletic trainers certified by the National Athletic Trainers' Association. Referees must be vigilant about throwing flags when they see illegal tackles and parents also must be involved in meetings and discussions about concussions.

"All of these measures are important if we want to continue to make a positive impact on the game," he said. "We have to continue research in this area. Accurate data not only indicate problem spots, but they also help us offer appropriate precautions and reveal the adequacy of our preventive measures."


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Moon
karen_moon@unc.edu
919-962-8595
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New national study finds increase in football-related injuries among youth
2. Santa Monica Jury Rejects Claims of Catastrophic Brain Injury From Exposure to Mold; Plaintiff Faces Motions for Attorney Fees and Costs
3. Parents Speak Out on Catastrophic Youth Sports Injuries
4. Gadgets not related to teenagers brain pain
5. Dementia Rates Escalate as Brain Capacity Diminishes with Age
6. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
7. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
8. Physical Changes in Brain Linked to Altered Spirituality
9. Pro Athletes Brains React at Olympic Speed
10. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
11. Brain Scan Shows What Beauty is Worth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society’s (PATS) Annual ... Convention Center on June 8-10. The weekend consisted of many educational presentations, ... scholarship presentations, and professional networking. , On Friday June 9th, PATS hosted ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI) and ... Dashboards, an innovative new service enabling healthcare providers to proactively coordinate care and ... Dashboards provide near real-time data about patients admitted to and/or discharged from acute ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... Studies show evidence that carotenoids and antioxidants derived either from the diet or from ... how often do ophthalmologists and optometrists in Sweden recommend the use of nutritional supplements, ... symptoms of AMD? A study published recently in Dove Medical Press journal, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Everybody has their own personal preference when ... read it, and some people don't like it at all. FindaTopDoc took a look ... , Erotic literature can give readers a taste of their deepest, darkest fantasies and ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Georgia State ... 18 to 20. , The two-day conference is focused on advancing scientific knowledge ... improving patients’ lives and eliminating racial breast cancer-related disparities. The conference theme is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/8/2017)... 8, 2017  StatLab Medical Products ("StatLab" ... manufacturer of diagnostic supplies for the anatomic ... & Company LP ("Cressey & Company"), a ... growth-focused investment in the Company. Cressey & ... from selling shareholder, Prairie Capital, L.P., with ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... , June 7, 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: ... two Phase 2 trials of its RSV F protein recombinant ... bearing age have been published in the journal ... been shared in prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced ... 2014. Novavax is developing the RSV F Vaccine with the ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... , June 5, 2017 The ... brand of Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), has been awarded ... Cincinnati Enquirer . Results are based on an ... in organizational health and workplace improvement. The survey measures several ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: