Over the last few years, the dispute regarding the effect of concussions on players in the National Football League has intensified, resulting in increased scrutiny of the manner in which NFL officials handled the situation. In August, ESPN withdrew its support for a documentary entitled “League of Denial,” investigating the NFL’s handling of the concussion crisis among its players.
ESPN claimed that its decision to end collaboration on the project with Frontline, a PBS series, was the result of its realization that it did not have editorial control over the content of the documentary. The New York Times reported that the real reason ESPN backed out was due to pressure placed on it by the NFL.
League of Denial explores the NFL’s resistance to acknowledging the growing evidence of the link between concussions and progressive degenerative brain disease. More importantly, the documentary brings much needed attention to the issue of brain injuries and the negative and long-lasting effects they can have on those afflicted by them.
A traumatic brain injury is a type of brain injury that results in disruption of normal functioning and can result from any accident in which the head sustains direct trauma, a lack of oxygen, or as a result of a closed head injury.
Direct trauma to the head can result in bruising of the cerebral cortex, a specific part of the brain. Because the brain is surrounded by fluid, a closed head injuries can result from a whiplash type injury, because the brain impacts the skull and becomes bruised. Finally, the brain can also be damaged by a lack of sufficient oxygen, resulting in an “anoxic brain injury”. Anoxic brain injuries are most often related to instances of medical malpractice such as when cardiopulmonary resuscitation is improperly administered.
Traumatic brain injuries are classified into two categories: mild and severe. Brain injuries are considered mild if any loss of consciousness or confusion and disorientation lasts less than 30 minutes. Sufferers of mild brain injuries often experience headaches, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, and mood swings.
Brain injuries are classified as severe when the loss of consciousness is longer than 30 minutes and there is memory loss or a penetrating skull injury longer than 24 hours. Severe brain injuries can result in impairment of higher level cognitive functions, abnormal speech patterns, loss of limb control, and emotional problems.
The Centers for Disease control estimates that 52,000 of the approximately 1.7 million people who suffer a traumatic brain injury each year die as a result. Further, an estimated 275,000 are hospitalized and nearly 80% of brain injury victims are admitted to the ER for treatment and subsequently released each year.
The Miami personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. have extensive experience representing individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries in car accidents or other trauma such due to the negligence of others. If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact a Miami injury attorney at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A today.