If you follow professional sports, you've probably seen a lot of concussion news in the past few years. In the NFL in particular, where former players even sued the league over concussions, these have gotten a tremendous amount of exposure. What you may be wondering, then, is how common they really are. Sure, they may be a risk for football players and hockey players, but what are the risks for those who aren't professional athletes?
According to the
Brain Injury Research Institute, people suffer 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions annually, and that's just when looking at sports and recreation -- not counting other common causes, like on-the-job falls or car accidents.
The BIRI also notes that many of those impacted are children. The top activities that lead to concussions for those between five years old and 18 years old are "bicycling, football, basketball, playground activities, and soccer." Between just 2001 and 2005, even before the current increase in concussion-related press and knowledge, this age group suffered 2.4 million sports-related injuries that landed them in the ER, and about 135,000 of them were for concussions.
Technically, a concussion is known in medical terms as a mild traumatic brain injury, or an MTBI. That name downplays just how serious it can be. For instance, the BIRI notes that brain injuries lead to death in sports more than any other injuries that are suffered. In football -- not just in the NFL, but at all levels -- from 65 percent to 95 percent of all deaths stem from brain injuries.
Moreover, even those who survive could face lasting symptoms. The BIRI claims that a full 86 percent of those who get concussions will have headaches or Post-Traumatic Migraines. Symptoms heal at different rates for everyone, but could last for weeks, months, or longer.
When brain injuries lead to long-term issues, even when they're technically called "mild" injuries, it's important for those who are hurt to know what rights they may have to financial compensation. This may help cover more than just the cost of an emergency room visit, but could cover costs for rehab, future treatment, lost wages, and more.
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