Is it time to stop using the term concussion? Brain injury is more accurate.

March 13, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

A recent report shows that NFL concussion rates rose dramatically last year. The rate went up 16% reflecting more player who are self-reporting brain injury. The concussion problem is one of the largest issues being faced by the NFL as a whole and it has continued to be a problem ever since the league, confronted by overwhelming evidence, finally capitulated and admitted the link between repeated concussion and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

The NFL’s chief medical officer indicated there were 291 reported cases of concussion in the 2017 season up from the 250 in the 2016 season. While the medical officer notes that the figures may be affected by increased self reporting of concussion that doesn’t make the problem any better. The number of concussions is on the rise because the NFL isn’t doing their job.

The real concern may lie in the huge increase in concussion suffered at pre-season training camps. Those rates increased 73% according to the league. The NFL Players Association’s own medical doctor suggested that this is attributable to the fact that the players lay it on the line to make the team. The NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee has been further considering the league’s plans to reduce concussion. Main themes are reported to be ‘safer’ helmets, education, and play style.

The NFL has faced a lot of pressure since the linkage was made between concussion and CTE. CTE is a chronic degenerative brain condition which is linked to physical and mental decline, depression, premature death, and has been found in many deceased NFL players. Boxers and hockey players are also at extremely high risk of developing CTE. It is fatal and has no treatment. It cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death.

In March of 2016 the NFL finally acknowledged the link between concussion and CTE but only AFTER a federal court in America ordered an $1 bn payout to thousands of retired players.

This comes at the same time as CBC news reported in January that CFL players continue to hide their concussions. A McGill University Health Care Centre study concluded that getting people to self report concussion may be as easy as changing what we call concussion to reflect its severity. Perhaps we should stop using the term concussion and begin using the term brain damage.

Many factors play into self reporting of injury and symptoms including peer pressure. The study found that about half of the people not seeking treatment felt their injury wasn’t serious enough to stop playing. They don’t want to let their team down, and they are afraid of being taken out of play for one or more games.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury, Concussion Syndrome

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.

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