Helmet Add-Ons Fail to Prevent Concussions

As contentious as the recent NFL head injury lawsuit may be, it can be credited for bringing the immense dangers of contact football to public attention. Football associations across the country, from professional to peewee, have gone to great lengths to study and ultimately prevent brain trauma and other head injuries. Traumatic brain injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm take a look at some of the most recent developments.

One study conducted by sports neurology experts found that helmet add-ons, such as liners, external pads, or friction reducing treatments, were unlikely to reduce concussion risks. Although lab tests with four of these products did reduce linear accelerations in impacts, the effect on angular accelerations – which result in concussions – was much less significant.

Angular acceleration is believed to be the major factor involved in concussion. In this study, researchers added four products to standard football helmets for study:

• Shockstrip external pads
• Helmet Glide treatment to reduce friction
• Guardian Cap external padding system
• UnEqual Technologies energy-dispersive liner
The helmets were then dropped from five different heights, measuring the linear and angular acceleration. The study found these products did very little to effectively reduce the risk of concussion, and, at present there is no product that will prevent concussion in football.

NFL Tracks Injury Data

In 2011, the NFL started an injury surveillance program to track trends in and causes of athletic injury. The program is run by Quintiles, the world’s largest biopharmaceutical contact services company, and was recently extended for another five years.

The extended program will track data using the NFL’s electronic medical records system, which was implemented before the 2014-15 season. It will also use clinical study data, media reports, and existing medical claims to track injuries. Quintiles executives told reporters that the program is focused on understanding the patterns of injury occurrence in players, in effort to promote player health.

The NFL, along with college and school-aged football programs, are attempting to try to understand when and why brain injuries occur and determine what can be changed to prevent them. In 2013, the NFL contributed $30 million to the National Institutes of Health for brain injury research. Another $100 million for research was promised as part of the settlement with the players’ association.

Football is not the only sport associated with significant, life-changing brain injuries. Snowboardng, soccer, wrestling, and even baseball show the highest number of head injuries treated in emergency rooms. The top 10 sports-related head injury causes are:

1. Cycling
2. Football
3. Baseball and softball
4. Basketball
5. Skateboarding and scooters
6. Water sports
7. Soccer
8. Powered recreational vehicles
9. Winter sports
10. Trampolines
If you or someone close to you suffered a brain injury from one of these sports, or from the negligence of someone else, contact our team of traumatic brain injury attorneys immediately. We have over 30 years of experience working on these types of cases and provide free legal consultations to concerned parties nationwide.

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