A recent Oregonian story on young athletes and Oregon brain injuries focuses not only on the potential consequences of head injuries here in Oregon and elsewhere, but spotlights how seemingly minor incidents can lead to TBI. As the article notes: “Despite national campaigns and state laws to increase awareness about teenagers and concussions, victims… still struggle to find effective relief.”
The article focuses on a high school basketball player who wound up missing nearly two years on the court after “a stray ball bopped her on the head.” The incident seemed relatively minor at the time, but coming, as it did, shortly after another head injury (“a sharp knee to the head during a spirit-building game of tunnel tag,” as The Oregonian puts it) it was enough not only to sideline the teenage girl’s basketball career but also to launch her into a two year odyssey of headaches, lowered cognitive function and repeated rounds of treatment.
The girl, now 17, is finally back in school and was recently able to return to her high school basketball team, the paper reports. But her experience is a reminder of how difficult diagnosis and treatment of Portland brain injuries often is where younger athletes are concerned. This is especially worrisome since, as the paper notes, a CDC study found that “adolescents are more likely than adults to get a concussion and take longer to recover.”
Oregon and other states have sought to address the issue with legislation. A new state law requires players suspected of concussions to be removed from games immediately. As the piece cited here indicates, however, greater public awareness is still needed of the Oregon brain injury dangers involved in sports – such as basketball – that we are not accustomed to think about as violent. Put another way, the problem is not confined to football and hockey, but it has taken time for parents, school officials and athletes themselves to understand that fact.
Families looking for a way to move beyond trauma often require legal as well as medical advice. A Portland brain injury lawyer can be offer invaluable assistance to athletes and their families coping with the aftermath of an Oregon head injury sustained on the field, diamond, court or rink.
The Oregonian: Concussions, an injury rising among teen athletes, more profound and enduring than previously known