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Virginia schools buy new helmets to prevent risk of brain injury

More and more research has surfaced lately regarding the dangers of trauma to the head. Head injuries are common concerns for children, the elderly, athletes and those involved in car accidents or other serious falls. A brain injury can be an incredibly debilitating injury that often requires extensive treatment and long-term care, especially if symptoms go unnoticed and treatment is delayed for a significant period of time. For this reason, many coaches and sports teams are doing what they can to reduce the risk of a head injury occurring in the first place.

In Virginia, the football players in Arlington County will soon have greater protection against head injuries due to a recent decision by school officials to purchase new helmets. The helmets have been described as the "best available" and have received a rating of five out of five stars by a Virginia Tech University evaluation system. In addition to the helmets, the school district is adopting a comprehensive concussion management plan and is hosting a presentation about the dangers and risks of concussion in September.

Head injuries are especially dangerous because they can be difficult to detect. When a person arrives at a hospital with other, more apparent injuries-like broken bones, severe internal bleeding, etc.-hospital staff may focus on treating those injuries, without quickly assessing whether the person also has a brain injury. Negligence in diagnosing and treating a brain injury can cause permanent, life-changing problems or even result in death.

Even when a person receives treatment soon after an injury is suffered, there are many potential effects of the injury. People may experience personality changes, emotional issues, seizures, a loss in cognitive abilities and memory problems. These problems can dramatically interfere with a person's quality of life, as well as limit his or her ability to continue in his or her chosen profession. If a third party is somehow responsible for the brain injury-whether due to negligence in diagnosis or treatment, negligence in causing an accident or in some other way-a person may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages suffered.

Source: The Washington Post, "Arlington buys safer helmets for high school football players," Michael Alison Chandler, Aug. 8, 2014

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