A new study has revealed some glaring facts about the most common type of traumatic brain injury called concussions in high school football players.
According to the researchers, these brain injuries are equally serious regardless of the place where the hit has occurred on the head.
During the research work, the team of investigators found that no matter where the hit occurred on the players’ head, the symptoms remained similar and dangerous too.
It was also dependent upon factors like how long players stayed off the field and the length of time symptoms lasted, researchers said.
“We were actually a little bit surprised with the findings. Based on some of our prior research, we expected to see some differences,” lead researcher Dawn Comstock said.
Comstock is professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and the Colorado School of Public Health.
Researchers say high school football players suffer from about five to six concussions per 10,000 games or practices.
Brain injuries in the high school athletes are matter of serious concern for medical practioners as there is no clear understanding of how common those hits are and the health issues associated with them.
“We wanted a more complete understanding of concussion in high school football,” Comstock said.
The research team laid more stress upon knowing how the player got concussion as they say this will help doctors diagnose and manage athletes more effectively.
For the study, the researchers collected data from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study for two seasons i.e. 2008-2009 and 2012-2013.
The researchers analyzed 2,526 concussion cases of football players which occurred during games and practices.
The data showed following hit patterns:
- With about 45 percent hit, most common concussion was on the front of the head.
- The second most common hit to cause concussions was on the side of the head.
- The third was on back of the head.
- The last common hit-type was on the top of the head.
After reviewing all the data, the researchers found that the location of the hit not influenced the impact, symptoms, how long players had to be kept off the field and the length of time the symptoms persisted.
“We can’t predict which athletes are more likely to have more severe symptoms or worse outcomes based only on how their injuries occur. Every clinician needs to take every concussion very seriously.” Comstock said.
The researchers, however, noted that those players who suffered a concussion on the top of their head were more likely to lose consciousness in comparison to those who were hit on other parts of the head.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.