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Researchers Improve Helmets to Prevent Brain Injuries

Concussions are common occurrences in the world of sports. Some athletes constantly experience hits to the head or violent jolts from bodily impacts. Football is one such sport, where players are required to perform in a manner that promotes the likelihood of traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurrences. The National Football League (NFL) is currently battling a class action lawsuit that accuses organization leaders of purposely withholding information about the dangers of TBIs. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) are also facing lawsuits filed by current and former players.

The website redorbit.com is reporting that researchers are looking at how helmets can better prevent head injuries for football players. Information presented during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, showed that current football helmets are inadequate at protecting players from concussions. When studies were completed to determine their usefulness, results reportedly showed that the frequency of brain injuries was only reduced by about 20 percent, when compared to players not wearing any helmet all. These statistics are prompting researchers to look for technological methods for safety improvement.

Protecting The Player

For decades, helmets have been used to protect the heads of players. They were initially made from a leather material, but they were later altered to a hard, sturdy type of plastic. The sturdiness of the helmet is vital to its ability to protect the player’s head. According to the technological website, Telecrunch, one well-known helmet company is equipping the helmet with a sensor pad. It is designed to measure the details of an impact. It then signals the coaching staff that a serious collision occurred.

Researchers are also working to better protect players through the use of magnets. According to report, thin magnets are strategically placed inside of the helmet. When two magnetized helmets meet one another, the repulsive force of the magnets will work against the impact of the collision. Researchers suggest that the collective use of these helmets will lower the force of energy.

Steven Erickson, M.D., is the Medical Director of Banner Concussion Center in Arizona. He is quoted in the Techcrunch article as stating, “There is never going to be an end all be all technology where every hit that meets a certain criteria equates to a concussion. Everyone has a different threshold to what their brain can sustain. The problem is that it’s not the quantity of the force, it’s the quality of the force that can lead to a concussion.”

Mouth guards are also utilized to protect players from concussions. Many modern models also contain sensors that alert the sideline staff about potentially dangerous hits. According to the Telecrunch article, some of these mouth pieces are currently in the testing phase with college-level athletes.

If you or your college athlete suffered from a severe, sports-related brain injury, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation. These knowledgeable attorneys will aggressively work to secure the compensation to which you are entitled.