Sensor Devices Track Athlete Head Impacts
New sensor devices that track blows to the head are used to monitor concussions and protect athletes from head trauma.
New Technology to Reduce Head Trauma
In the last few years, the Concussion Legacy Foundation launched a new program called the Hit Count® which developed an innovative way to track the number of times an athlete gets hit in the head. Within high-contact sports, concussions play a major role in head trauma and brain injuries that have serious consequences on an athlete’s physical and mental health.
Contact sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, ice hockey, and boxing have high risks for serious head injuries. Since there is no such thing as a concussion detector and no universal threshold for concussion, it is difficult to predict which hits to the head will cause a concussion and which hits will not. The Hit Count program can reliably track the number of hits to the head with sensors that monitor the severity of impact. Health experts agree that any head impact greater than 10G almost always results in abnormal, and potentially dangerous, brain trauma.
Concussions can be mild or severe, depending on the level of impact to the head. Injury lawyers see some symptoms that are immediate and others that begin up to 48 hours after the blow to the head. As well as extreme sleepiness and fatigue, common symptoms may include:
- Mild or severe headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and loss of coordination
- Mental confusion
- Memory loss
- Ringing in the ears
When head trauma is severe enough to shake the brain and damage brain cells, concussions cause symptoms. If the impact is not severe enough to damage brain cells, it is referred to as a subconcussive impact without symptoms. Scientific research shows that subconcussive impacts, not concussions, are the main cause of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease often found in military veterans, athletes, and people with a history of repetitive brain trauma.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur in the United States each year. The Hit Count® program plans to use sensors to monitor all head impacts on school athletes. The goal is to make sports safer for young athletes, coaches, and parents. By limiting the Hit Count, the number of concussions and subconcussive brain injuries seen by injury lawyers and medical professionals in young athletes can be significantly reduced.