Could Your Favourite Sport Leave You With a Brain Injury?


As this week is Action for Brain Injury Week, we at Simpson Millar LLP are raising awareness of the long term dangers associated with concussion whilst taking part in sports. What many people don't realise when taking part in contact sports is that injuries sustained during games could cause you to suffer from severe brain injuries in the future.

sports like rugby can result in serious brain injury

As well as this, some people may not have their brain injury properly spotted or managed, which in future can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

Sports Injuries Leading to Brain Injuries

The link between head injuries sustained during contact sports like rugby causing more serious diseases later in life has only recently come to light. Welsh Professor Damien Bailey, speaking with BBC News (November 18, 2014) notes how repeated concussion "accelerates brain ageing and increases susceptibility potentially to onset dementia."

Brain injuries that people could be at risk of developing due to repeated concussion can include Chronic Trauma Encephalopathy, Alzheimer's disease or dementia, Parkinson's disease and Motor Neurone disease.

The National Football League (NFL) in America have recognised the dangerous links between concussion and this causing Alzheimer's and dementia, and are currently looking into changing rules and protocols to afford greater protection to players in future.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have also added extra resources at rugby games to treat people who could have concussion after criticism when player George North was allowed to continue playing despite suffering two head injuries during a match.

Getting the Right Help and Advice

It is important to make sure that you get the right help if you have suffered a head injury. Medical professionals may miss the signs of a brain injury, and not getting the right help can lead to developing more serious brain injuries in the future.

In light of these new links, more people may begin claiming compensation. In the US, the NFL is now set to pay around £670 million in compensation for harm caused to players. One former player, Kevin Turner, who now has Motor Neurone Disease, said to Sky News (April 23, 2015) that: "What matters now is time, and many retired players do not have much left."

The effects of dealing with a brain injury both on the individual learning to cope with the injury, and their family and friends, can be incredibly difficult. It is important to get advice if you have suffered from a brain injury that is not your fault, or if you have received negligent care for your brain injury.

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