Information About TBI Second Impact Syndrome

February 24, 2015 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Information About TBI Second Impact Syndrome Any instance of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has the potential to be devastating. However, TBI victims can suffer substantially more serious symptoms if they are the victim of second impact syndrome (SIS). Second impact syndrome can occur when a TBI victim receives another concussion before the original concussion had completely healed. Such a second impact can cause the already damaged brain tissue to rapidly swell inside the skull (known as cerebral edema[1]), which can cause catastrophic brain damage. Second impact syndrome can occur even from a very minor bump on the head if the original concussion has not healed. For this reason and more, all victims of concussions or other traumatic brain injuries should be on full physical rest until their injury has completely healed.

Know when you have a concussion

If you have received any type of head trauma and are experiencing any signs of a concussion, it is important to see a doctor and get diagnosed so that you know to avoid any risks of future concussions. It is important to receive proper treatment so that your concussion can heal as quickly as possible. Signs of a first concussion vary from victim to victim, though can commonly include the following:
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Slurring of your speech
  • Issues with focus and concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Easy irritation and other changes to your personality
While some of these symptoms may be minor, the symptoms of second impact syndrome become significantly more severe. If you receive another blow or jolt to the head before your first concussion has completely healed, you may experience the following:
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of vision or eye movement
  • Severely dilated pupils
  • Inability to breathe (respiratory failure)
  • Brain herniation[2]
  • Death
Anyone suspected of suffering from second impact syndrome requires emergency medical attention with a focus on keeping airways open and other types of stabilization. Neurosurgery may be required depending on the extent of the damage.

SIS in sports

Second impact syndrome is particularly common among athletes who play sports such as football, hockey, baseball, skiing, or boxing. This is because hitting your head may be relatively common in such sports and thus an athlete may not pay much attention to the possibility of concussion. This is particularly true if a coach or sports league does not have an emphasis on safety and policies that require medical evaluations anytime a player hits his or her head. Additionally, a coach or sports league should never pressure a player to return to game play until their brain health has been completely cleared by a medical professional. Returning to sports too early may put a player at severe risk of second impact syndrome and substantially more serious effects of their brain injury. If a party acts negligently and causes second impact syndrome in an athlete or other individual, they should be held responsible for their negligence.

Contact an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer for a free consultation today

Whether you have suffered one traumatic brain injury, second impact syndrome, or serious long-term conditions due to multiple brain injuries, you should always contact an experienced attorney with a thorough understanding of brain injuries and brain injury cases. At the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we know how substantially a brain injury can affect your life and we will fight to stand up for your rights to recovery. We offer free consultations and do not collect a fee unless you win your case. Please do not hesitate to call our office in Clearwater, Florida today at 727-451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33756 727-451-6900 References:


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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