The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is calling for changes to public policy after its latest weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report revealed that there has been a rise in sports-related brain injuries among adolescents. According to Bloomberg, similar pressure from the CDC resulted in a reduction of head trauma deaths from motor vehicle accidents. From 2001 to 2009, there has been a 60 percent increase of TBI in people under the age of 19 caused by sports and recreation activities.
The CDC also reports that deaths from brain trauma have reduced by half in that time period for adolescents aged 15 to 19, but a greater number of young adults head to the emergency room as a result of athletic injuries. In 2009 alone, there were approximately 2.4 million “emergency department visits, hospitalizations or deaths” relating to a TBI, the CDC reports. Three quarters of all TBI are concussions, which are mild versions of TBI that are common injuries in contact sports such as football. The leading causes of TBI in the general population stem from falls, motor vehicle accidents, blunt impact and assaults.
Besides the CDC, other individuals and organizations have expressed concerns about the effects of head injuries suffered by athletes in contact sports, Bloomberg reports. An advisory group to the government, the Institute of Medicine, has been investigating sports concussions that happened to players of all ages of adolescence since the beginning of this year. Additionally, more than 3,000 football players and their families have sued the National Football League after suffering from head injuries. They allege that the NFL concealed data pertaining to the long-term hazards from sustaining repeated concussions.
Bloomberg reports that brain trauma results in “an estimated $76.5 billion in direct U.S. medical expenditures and indirect costs such as lost wages and productivity.”