End of NFL season does not end concern with concussions, TBIs

At the recent close of the NFL season, everyone from President Obama to a Baltimore Ravens safety made comments concerning the dangers of traumatic brain injuries facing today's current players. While TBIs have always been dangerous, only recently has the medical community become aware of the extreme amount of damage concussions and head trauma can do to a person.

Currently, over 4,000 retired NFL players are suing the league, claiming that the NFL hid information regarding the severity and long-term consequences of concussions and TBIs.

TBI consequences

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 million people suffer a TBI every year - and the consequences can be long-lasting. The Mayo Clinic notes that serious TBIs can cause bruising in the brain, torn tissues, and internal bleeding. These consequences can result in long-term complications or death.

In the short term, a mild TBI may cause a loss of consciousness, memory and concentration problems, mood changes, nausea and a change in sleeping patterns. While these are significant, a mild TBI tends to be temporary, although some studies have shown that even a one-time mild TBI can make it more likely for the sufferer to have another TBI in the future.

Moderate and severe TBIs cause all of the above symptoms, but may also involve profound confusion, weakness or numbness in extremities, seizures and clear fluids draining from the nose or ears. Severe TBI can affect a person's cognitive function, motor function, various sensory organs and cause emotional disturbances. If severe enough, a TBI will cause death.

Causes of TBIs

While high-impact sports are a significant risk factor for a TBI, they are certainly not the only cause. In fact, according to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of TBIs, accounting for 35 percent of total injuries. Car accidents are the second-leading cause, with almost one in five head injuries coming from motor vehicle crashes.

Football has made an effort in recent years to study concussions and head injuries and protect its players. However, with football season done and winter upon us, icy sidewalks and car crashes are far more likely to cause head injury than participation in any sport.

A traumatic brain injury is a serious condition. People injured while falling on the property of a business or injured by a negligent driver may be able to recover for their injury. TBI sufferers should contact a skilled personal injury attorney to discuss their case.