Nfl Concussions

1419 words 6 pages
Head injuries, including concussions, particularly in the game of American football, have become a subject of deep concern, much study and even Congressional hearings in the United States.

Concussions

Contrary to popular belief, a concussion is not a bruise to the brain caused by hitting a hard surface. Indeed, no physical swelling or bleeding is usually seen on radiological scans. The injury generally occurs when the head either accelerates rapidly and then is stopped, or is spun rapidly.

This violent shaking causes the brain cells to become depolarized and fire all their neurotransmitters at once in an unhealthy cascade, flooding the brain with chemicals and deadening certain receptors linked to learning and memory. The results
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In July 2010, the N.F.L. asserted greater risks of head injury and toughened warnings by producing a poster that bluntly alerts its players to the long-term effects of concussions, using words like "depression" and "early onset of dementia."

Limited Standard for Helmets

Football helmets are made in a largely unmonitored world.

The one helmet standard was written by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, or Nocsae, a volunteer consortium that includes, and is largely financed by, the helmet makers themselves. Nocsae accepts no role in ensuring that helmets, either new or old, meet even its limited requirement. The standard has not changed meaningfully since it was written in 1973, despite rising concussion rates in youth football.

Moreover, used helmets worn by the vast majority of young players encountered stark lapses in the industry’s few safety procedures. Some of the businesses that recondition helmets ignored testing rules, performed the tests incorrectly or returned helmets that were still in poor condition. More than 100,000 children are wearing helmets too old to provide adequate protection — and perhaps half a million more are wearing potentially unsafe helmets that require critical examination, according to interviews with experts and industry data.

Awareness of head injuries in

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