Traumatic brain injury in sports can be deadly. In a recent case that has made international headlines, a well-known Australian cricket player died after suffering a traumatic brain injury. According to reports, Phillip Hughes, a 25-year-old player never woke up after being struck in the neck with a short-pitch ball. He was carried off the field in a stretcher in critical condition where he was put in an induced coma. Doctor’s pronounced him dead shortly after surgery. The accident highlights the danger of sports, both for amateur and professional athletes.
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, have become a target of medical inquiry and investigation. The brain is a very delicate organ, encased by the skull and cushioning fluid. The upper neck is also vulnerable because it contains the major arteries to the brain. In the event of trauma to the neck or head, like when a player is struck by a blow from a ball or other player, the arteries can rupture causing a massive head injury. In this case, the player was struck in the back of the head and neurologists suggested that he stopped breathing immediately after the vertebral arteries in his neck were ruptured.
There are two types of brain injuries, “focal” or “diffuse.” While a focal injury is usually caused by a fall or assault that result in a blood clot, a diffuse injury is often associated with high speed road accidents. A blood clot caused by a focal injury can place significant pressure on the brain, prevent the flow of oxygen to cells and ultimately result in death. Injuries may not be immediately detected and death can occur in following hours, days, or even weeks. Focal injury is usually treated by removing any blood clots. In a diffuse injury, the victim can suffer from widespread swelling as well as impaired blood flow.
Getting medical attention as soon as possible is critical for brain injury victims. They should also be supervised and monitored after an accident. Doctors must reduce pressure and swelling to ensure proper blood flow. In some cases, a victim suffers damage not only because of immediate impact, but because of issues associated with the rotation of the brain. While the human brain can often withstand a direct blow, it can be more difficult to survive what doctors call “rotational forces.”
In addition to sudden death caused by head trauma, many victims of TBI can suffer permanent brain damage. Some symptoms are easy to detect, and others may not become noticeable for weeks or months after an accident. Families of brain injury victims report change in personality, mood disorders, depression, problems with speech, and loss of motor skills.
If you suspect that a loved one has suffered from TBI, it is important to consult with an experienced medical professional. Our Charlotte brain injury attorneys can also help review your case and claim and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Contact our North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
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Teenager Killed at Carolina School Bus Stop, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, March 29, 2013
Jones v. Imperial Palace of Mississippi, LLC: On Slip and Fall Lawsuits, Oct. 9, 2014, Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyer Blog