Over 1 million people suffer a sports-related concussion (a form of brain injury) every year. Once a person sustains a concussion, they are 4-6 times more likely to sustain a second concussion. There are multiple examples of student athletes who have developed a concussion during a game, appeared fine, were sent back into the game only to sustain a severe brain injury as a result.
The majority of people who suffer brain injuries - even a mild injury - may not even know they have experienced one. If you are a parent of a student athlete, it is important that you become aware of brain injury and its symptoms. See the re-cap below of a high school student's recent traumatic brain injury.
A high school baseball player was in critical condition after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a practice game, according to the Huffington Post. The Northern California teen, Gunnar Sandberg, was reportedly hit in the head by a line drive while pitching on March 11, 2010 and has been in a coma since the accident.
Although doctors were not pleased with what they saw in a recent brain scan, they reported positive activity for at least two days in a row sometime after the scan.
According to reports, the hitter was using a metal bat when Sandberg was struck and suffered the life-threatening brain injury, raising concerns about the use of metal bats in high school, since many believe metal bats make the baseball travel faster than wooden bats reducing the amount of time pitchers and other players have to react. Sandberg's school switched to wooden bats for the rest of the season, with other schools in the area being asked to follow suit, but the debate on the use of metal bats continues.
My deepest condolences go out to the family of Gunnar Sandberg and I hope he makes a full and speedy recovery. As a father, I don't know what I'd do if my child suffered an injury like this. It's heart breaking.