What is Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome (RHIS)? Who is at risk, and what can be done to mitigate the danger? Repeated concussions can cause serious damage that can manifest years after the initial injury. Football players, boxers, hockey players, soccer players, and those involved in multiple car accidents are at significant risk of developing the injury. For most, preventing the development of RHIS boils down to avoiding engaging in the activities and behaviors that are cause concussions.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) in the United States
The CDC estimates that from 2006 to 2014, the number of emergency visits, hospitalizations and even deaths related to a TBI increased by 53%. In 2014, the CDC recorded a total of 2.87 million TBI-related emergency room visits.
It is estimated that TBI was a factor in more than 56,800 people, of which 2,529 were children. Approximately 20% of TBI's in 2014 were due to motor vehicle accidents.
Sports Related Concussions
There are roughly 4 million sports-related concussions recorded in the United States each year. Football players are at greatest risk and it's estimated that they account for up to 87% of individuals diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It can take years, and even decades for symptoms to manifest that can lead to an official diagnosis.
Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome
RHIS occurs following multiple concussions or other serious head injuries. Symptoms include persistent headaches, impaired memory, confusion, and fatigue. Individuals may also experience blurred vision, dizziness and loss of balance.
It is believed that there is a link between RHIS and the development of serious mental impairments including dementia and Alzheimer's. The reasons are not entirely clear. However, it is believed that repeated injuries to the brain tissue result in the buildup of scar tissue and plaques that impair the function of brain cells.
Prevention is always better than treatment. Individuals can reduce their risk by always wearing their seatbelts. Parents should make sure that their children are seated within a safety seat. Individuals should always wear helmets when riding a bicycle or playing contact sports.
Further, children who play contact sports should be closely monitored. It is estimated that up to 7 in 10 children continue playing even though they have symptoms of a concussion. Finally, installing handrails, safety gates, and non-slip flooring materials on stairs can prevent concussions caused by trips and falls.
Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 to speak with an attorney about your concussion or traumatic brain injury. We represent clients pursuing claims in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, or Texas. We give emergency legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.