The link between concussions suffered while playing professional football and permanent brain injury has grown over the past few years as more football players are diagnosed with depression, anxiety and other terminal illnesses. The growing number of players exhibiting erratic (and sometimes violent) behavior off the field and even committing suicide has led to rules changes and increased monitoring of concussions on the professional and collegiate levels.
But what about high school football? Concussion protocols have become increasingly important because of new information suggesting that young people can exhibit emotional changes even though they have not technically suffered a concussion. A study presented at the Radiological Society of North America found that small, continuous blows to the head could cause changes to the brains of young football player, even though they have not been clinically diagnosed with a concussion.
Even though the study did not examine how the changes affected brain functions, it brings about concerns as to whether a player should be examined by a brain specialist prior to resuming contact activities. It may also raise questions as to whether doctors are following proper protocols when diagnosing football players.
Nevertheless, it appears that studies will continue that will provide more information on how the cumulative effects of hits to the head may affect players. In the meantime, if you have questions about whether physicians can (or should) be held liable for failing to properly diagnose injured football players, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help.
The preceding is not legal advice.