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Army and NFL meet to discuss traumatic brain injuries

We can't open a New Jersey sports section anymore without reading about another sports-related concussion story. More and more, efforts are being made to improve brain injury awareness for athletes about the consequences of such concussions, and the need to come forward when such an athlete suspects that a concussion may have taken place.

Unfortunately, the same need is present for soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just like athletes, soldiers are often reluctant to come forward about their symptoms in fear of being considered someone trying to shirk their duties.

Officials from the United States Army and the National Football League have recently met to discuss what can be done to prevent traumatic brain injuries from occurring, and how such injuries should be treated if such maladies happen to occur. As one army official stated, "We are seeking to educate both players and soldiers about TBI [traumatic brain injury], to empower them to seek treatment both on the battlefield and playing field."

There is talk about special sensors placed in helmets that could detect the existence of a possible concussion, implementing of special types of tests to determine if a concussion has occurred, and a haring of medical research. Awareness, they felt, must be conducted at all levels.

Still, there is a tendency to often blame the victim for their injuries. Especially in the case of football players, we are told that they assume the risk or are not coming forward about the injuries suffered.

However, there is also a culture that exists where players are told that they are needed on the playing field while still being injured. All the financial incentives are in favor of players going out and playing while injured rather than being cautious with their health and remaining on the sidelines.

Attorneys can assist those individuals that have suffered such brain injuries - especially if the brain injury occurred in a work-related setting. Obviously, soldiering is no game. However, football is still viewed as game, even though NFL owners and management are making billions of dollars in revenue every year off the sacrifices of its players.

Source: Fort Bragg Patch, "Army, NFL Work to Combat Traumatic Brain Injury," September 1, 2012

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