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Diagnosing traumatic brain injury in child athletes

Oklahoma residents may be aware that playing contact sports like football or rugby has been linked with degenerative brain diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy. While professional athletes have experienced medical professionals ready to help them with the latest diagnostic equipment at their disposal, not all of of the 44 million or so American children who regularly participate in sports are as lucky.

According to investigators at the University of Washington, between 1.1 million and 1.9 million adolescents and children in the United States suffer a serious brain injury each year while playing sports or engaging in some other form of recreational activity. More alarmingly, between 511,590 and 1,240,972 of these children receive no medical attention or treatment. The results of the research were published July 2016 in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Resources have been poured into research dealing with the link between head trauma and conditions like CTE. Nonetheless, the National Academy of Medicine has advocated for a standardized screening method to help physicians diagnose brain injuries in younger patients.

Early detection and treatment is often crucial with brain injuries, and parents of children who receive no medical treatment after a severe blow to the head may pursue civil remedies when complications like memory loss, personality changes and headaches manifest themselves. Recovery from a traumatic brain injury is often a slow and difficult process, and this may be especially true when the patient is a child. Lawsuits against those whose negligence caused an accident that resulted in a brain injury may be filed by a personal injury lawyer in order to help a client seek damages.

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