What is the Future Cognitive Impairment from Multiple Concussions in Young Adults?

Years ago, when a student athlete suffered a concussion, their coach would apply smelling salts and tell them to get back on the field. This was the case whether the athlete was in high school or college. The same was true for professional athletes. In professional sports, especially the National Football League (NFL), a quarterback was seen as weak if he left the game due to a concussion. The crowd would jeer at him and call him weak. It wasn’t until recently that experts acknowledged the fact that multiple concussions could cause serious issues for an athlete.

Young people, whether they’re playing high-school football or professional hockey, are at a great risk of suffering a concussion. In contact sports, there’s always the chance that an athlete can suffer a head injury. The greater the level of contact, the greater the chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

It wasn’t until experts started to see long-term effects in retired professional athletes that they started to worry about young athletes. In 2009 the first “Return to Play” law was passed in Washington State. This law protected athletes who had suffered from a concussion. Within a short time, these return to play laws had been passed in all 50 states as it was apparent that recurrent concussions caused serious problems for young adults.

If you believe your child or loved one has been injured as a result of multiple concussions, you should call a skilled injury attorney in Birmingham.

What are the Risks Posed by Multiple Concussions in Young Adults?

Over the last ten (10) years, it has become clear that multiple concussions can cause serious problems for young people. While these concussions can certainly be caused in a myriad of ways, most of the emphasis has been on student athletes.

Young people who play sports in school are at the greatest risk of suffering a concussion. This includes some of the more aggressive sports, such as football, hockey and soccer. Even with a helmet on, these kids are at risk of suffering a severe blow to the head. This can come from helmet-to-helmet contact or a significant tackle.

When young people suffer more than one concussion, the fear is that it can cause long-term cognitive impairment. And, while there’s ample evidence that this is indeed the case, there is also evidence that they suffer other sorts of long-term impairment.

Some of the serious concerns about the risks of multiple concussions include the following:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Serious memory issues
  • Impairment with learning ability
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Suicidal and/or violent tendencies

Given the evidence supporting these long-term effects of multiple concussions, every state in the United States has passed legislation regarding student athletes.

Return to Play Litigation Protects Young Athletes from Suffering Multiple Concussions

Because of the great risk to young adults, every state, including Alabama, has passed legislation regarding student athletics. If a student suffers a concussion, there are now certain protocols the coaching staff must follow before the student can return to play.

The first state to pass this sort of legislation was Washington. In 2009, they passed something called the “Zackery Lystedt Law.” This law basically requires a school’s coaching state to do certain things before the student athlete can return to play. Some of these include:

  • Remove the student from play immediately
  • Have certified medical staff evaluate the young person
  • Train all staff on how to address a possible concussion
  • Collect data on all players’ concussion histories

The problem is that these programs are hard to implement. Knowing whether coaching staff are properly trained to even recognize a concussion can be hard to ascertain. This can lead to multiple injuries for student athletes. This, in turn, can cause long-term problems for the injured student.

Contact a Skilled Injury Lawyer in Birmingham if Your Child Suffers Multiple Concussions

Years ago, if your child suffered a mild concussion, the doctor told you to watch them for about 12 hours and not let them fall asleep. Today, the protocol is a bit different. There’s no way to really know if your child has suffered a concussion without taking them to the emergency room. Once there, a doctor can determine if your child has been injured.

If your child was injured while playing school sports, you may need to contact our office. Let our experienced law firm that handles brain injuries review your case to see if you have a potential claim.

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