Articles Tagged with “Boston brain injury lawyers”

football-child.JPGAmerican attitudes about football are changing–even though the sport remains as popular as ever, more adults are re-thinking whether their children should risk head injuries by playing football.

A new study by HBO Real Sports and Marist College Institute for Public Opinion surveyed more than 1,200 adults by phone in July and reports most have learned about the connection between concussions suffered while playing football and long-term brain injury. As a result, one in three adults say they would be less likely to allow their own son to play if given the choice.

Ultimately, 85 percent would let their son play, another 13 percent would not and 2 percent are unsure (The study did not report on how respondents would feel about letting their daughters play).

Seven out of 10 Americans think the benefits of playing outweigh the risk for injury. Also, 74 percent of Americans think football is a good way to build character and boys should be encouraged to play.

One notable point is Americans seem to be placing trust in coaches, parents and even players themselves. Some 30 percent say they are less concerned about the risk of long-term brain injury because these individuals are more informed now and can take greater precautions.

Concussion Prevention for Student Athletes
The majority of states have passed concussion prevention laws for high school athletes. Massachusetts passed a law in 2010, which requires students, parents and coaches to receive annual training on recognizing and treating concussions. Student athletes who are suspected of having suffered a concussion must be removed from play and receive a doctor’s medical clearance before returning. Schools must also report concussions to the state Department of Public Health. The law covers high school and middle school athletes in football, soccer and all other sports.

Today, 49 states have concussion prevention laws. The only exception is Mississippi. Washington was the first state to pass such legislation. In May 2009, the state passed the “Lystedt Law,” named after 13-year-old Zackery Lystedt suffered permanent brain injury in 2006 while playing in a junior high school football game after suffering a concussion.

NFL Settlement
In August, after the survey was conducted, the National Football League (NFL) agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by more than 4,500 players and their families.

The settlement, the result of court-ordered mediation, includes $5 million for men with Alzheimer’s disease, $4 million for those diagnosed after death with a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy and $3 million for players with dementia. The suit alleged the league concealed what it knew about concussions among its players and failed to protect them from repeated hits in the game. Plaintiffs included Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, Jim McMahon and the family of former New England Patriots’ start Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012.

Youth Football Enrollment Still Increasing
Pop Warner is the nation’s largest youth football league, serving over 250,000 children between the ages of 5 and 15. In recent years, the league has implemented its own safety rules. One rule limits the amount of contact players have to one third of practice time. Another is “when in doubt, sit it out,” when a concussion is suspected.

But enrollment has not decreased as public awareness has grown about concussions and football, officials recently told CNN. Enrollment has increased one percent annually for the past ten years, through 2012.

Youth Football Takes Hard Hit… One-Third of Americans Less Likely to Allow Son To Play Football because of Head Injury Risk, HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll.
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football-150.jpgA Boston sports research organization says college athletes should be provided more information about the long-term consequences of concussions and brain trauma.

Researchers from the Sports Legacy Institute say the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is distributing educational materials which make no mention of the risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or the symptoms associated with the degenerative brain disease, which has been linked to repeated head injuries.

The Sports Legacy Institute’s recommendation comes as the NCAA medical advisory committee plans to meet this week. The Boston sports organization advocates for awareness and education on concussions as well as proper diagnosis and management.

CTE is a neurodegenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated trauma to the brain, such as concussions or blows to the head. It can only be definitely diagnosed through post-mortem analysis of the brain tissue after death.

In 2010, the National Football League (NFL) began warning players about the potential long-term risks of repeated brain injuries. These include depression, memory problems and early dementia.

The link between the NFL and brain damage in players was identified in 2002, when an autopsy was conducted on former Steelers center Mike Webster. The player, who suffered a heart attack at age 50, had brain trauma that appeared related to his 17-year football career.

The NFL initially claimed there was no link between football and long-term brain damage, but has since acknowledged one. Hundreds of players began filing lawsuits against the league. In early June, the more than 80 pending lawsuits representing 2,000 players were consolidated into a lawsuit filed in federal court in Philadelphia.

The consolidated lawsuit alleges the NFL failed to acknowledge and address neurological risks associated with the sport and then failed to tell players about the risks they faced.

Just this week, national youth sports organization Pop Warner implemented rules to prevent concussions, including limiting the amount of contact drills, one-on-one blocking, tacking and scrimmaging to no more than a third of the total weekly practice time. The second rule change prohibits full-speed head-on blocking or tackling with players more than 3 yards apart.


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