Health in Focus: Sports-Related Head Injuries

We’re ripping a page from headlines following the sudden death of a teenage Georgia football player.

Sports-certified Neurosurgeon Jay Jagannathan, with Jagannathan Neurosurgery, breaks down how and why a head injury can cause cardiac arrest.

“The brain is a structure that is obviously important for our daily living,” he says. “And since it is trapped in the skull, which is a rigged container, it is often times susceptible to injury with very quick acceleration and deceleration.”

Head injuries are common in sports, and Jagannathan says they can be deceptive. Bad head injuries don’t always have obvious outward signs like gashes or blood

“The fact that someone doesn’t have a bloody nose or a broken bone does not necessarily mean they don’t have a significant injury,” Jagannathan says. “It also means that even minor injuries over the course of time can take accumulative effect and cause significant injuries.”

Parents, coaches and students should be watching out for each other, wary of symptoms and warning signs from the body.

The neurosurgeon says toughing out or shaking off hard knocks could be a mistake.

“From a medical standpoint, the whole thing of just shaking it off and going back in there is not necessarily good advice,” he says. “We want to take these seriously because we know there can be accumulative effect of head injuries, we also know that a head injury that on the surface that may not look very severe can be extremely severe.”

Common symptoms with head injuries:

  • Headaches
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of consciousness
  • weakness, difficulty walking
  • Problems with bowl or bladder

For more health information, contact Jagannathan Neurosurgery for neurosurgery, neurology and interventional pain management.

Northern Michigan: 989-701-2538

Upper Peninsula: 906-253-1341

Southeast Michigan: 248-792-6527

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