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Repeat concussions can lead to coma

The New York Times reports of a tragic injury suffered by a high school football player in New Jersey who is in critical condition and unlikely to recover after sustaining a brain hemorrhage during a recent game.

The player, a junior linebacker, collapsed after making a tackle during a junior varsity game.  He was rushed to the hospital where emergency surgery was performed. This same player had sustained a concussion several weeks ago and after a CT scan was reported as being negative, he was allowed to return to play.

The Times reports that In the last three months, two teenagers have died in New Jersey during football activities. A 17-year-old died in August because of bleeding in the brain after he was tackled during a practice. The other, a 13-year-old, died that month because of an undetected heart condition.

In 2007, three high school players in the United States died as a result of head injuries sustained while playing football, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury at the University of North Carolina.

Our hearts and prayers go out to this young man and his family.  Coaches and medical professionals must be more vigilant in their decisions to allow players who have suffered a concussion to return to play.  These decisions are more than winning and losing a game.  A wrong decision can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.

All players must have pre season neuropscycholgical base line evaluations performed so their recovery from a concussion can be accurately assessed.

You can read the full story by clicking here.

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