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Longer Recovery for Hockey-Related Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) incidents are commonly in the news, especially in relation to the game of football. The National Football League, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, are both facing multi million-dollar civil lawsuits from current and former players regarding the risks and consequences of TBIs. These concerns translated into precautionary programs for little league athletes who are just starting out in football. A recent Canadian study is focusing on the game of hockey and the risk of TBIs among the youngest players of the sport.

The Vancouver Sun is reporting on a new research paper about brain damage in hockey players with a history of concussions. The study used brain scans to examine adolescent athletes who are otherwise healthy. Researchers reportedly found disturbing changes to the brain, leading to the conclusion that concussions persist longer than previously believed.
Pediatric psychiatrist James Hudziak, the paper’s co-author, is quoted in the article as stating, “We believe that injury to a developing brain may be more severe than injury to an adult brain.” As stated in the research paper, experts are well aware of the cognitive disorders and personality changes that can result from multiple concussions. This new study highlights the need for prevention among young hockey players.

Concussions in Hockey

According to the article, several Minnesota based studies have reviewed the prevalence of hockey-related injuries among the youth. The most common incidents are injuries to limbs, with TBIs ranking second. A quarter of all injuries reportedly required major medical treatments.
Researchers reportedly find that many of these injuries are a result of purposeful bodily contact, commonly called body-checking among hockey players. The American Association of Pediatrics advises that youth hockey leagues should ban body-checking until players reach 15 years of age. The organizations reportedly concludes that children who participate in body-checking leagues are two to three times more likely to experience concussions and other serious injuries. They call these injuries “preventable harms” and take youth hockey league organizers to task for not adequately addressing these risks.

Effects of Concussions in Youth

Concussions are generally temporary and most of them heal on their own with minimal medical intervention. However, multiple concussion incidents, in addition to inadequate treatment, can lead to life-threatening health risks among children, to include swelling of the brain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, children need substantial rest from physical activities, as well as thinking activities. This means time away from the sports field, as well as time away from the classroom. If the child returns to sports prematurely and experiences another head injury, the consequences can prove fatal. Second Impact Syndrome occurs when an individual experiences an additional blow to the head while the initial injury is still healing. Signs of this condition include:

***Headache or pressure from inside of the head

***Vomiting

***Blurred vision

***Light and noise sensitivity

***Loss of memory

***Sluggish or groggy behavior

***Numbness in the limbs

If you or your child is suffering with a severe 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.

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