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Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury: New Helmets

Chances are that you’ve heard about the dangers of traumatic brain injuries, be it from personal experience, sports news, or one of the many highly-publicized brain-injury stories that gained nationwide attention over the past few years. Medical researchers have just begun to understand the long-term effects of repeated head trauma and severe concussions, and what they’ve been uncovering is quite alarming.

There is no such thing as a minor brain injury. Even the most minimal damage to the brain can cause long-term severe symptoms that could be completely debilitating. Life-changing symptoms such as confusion, disorientation, amnesia, and damaged coordination can linger for years in even the most minor or cases. This has led to a surge in preventative policies throughout youth and professional sports; and now it’s led the US government to search for ways to prevent traumatic brain injuries to American military personal.

The prevalence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in current warzones has led to a wave of TBI’s sustained by American soldiers fighting overseas. The use of Kevlar in modern military helmets has helped to reduce the number of battle-related traumatic brain injuries in the military, but leaders are seeking new ways to prevent and properly treat TBI’s. Computer simulations of trauma to soldiers’ heads are being used to create the most effective design for new military helmets. The hope is that a new helmet design will afford American soldiers increased protection to the most vital areas of the brain.

Damage is often caused to a soldier’s brain simply by the shock of an explosion. This creates an additional danger to the brain that can’t always be addressed by Kevlar alone. Fortunately, advances in sporting helmets may provide insight into additional protections to the brain. Developers of the new Xenith Football helmet that has been recently adopted by a number of NFL players have discovered a new way to reduce shock to athletes’ brains during violent collisions. Using air-filled circular pads as shock absorbers, Xenith LLC has found a way to deflect energy away from a player’s skull during a collision. It’s advances such as these that will minimize the impact of traumatic brain injuries in the future.

The importance of protecting the brain may seem obvious, but these developments have only recently come to light. Car accident victims don’t have the same protections offered by a helmet. Even with air bags and other safeguards to protect a driver or passenger’s head from being directly impacted during an accident, brain injuries caused by automobile accidents remain a serious problem. The head does not have to be directly impacted to damage the brain. A crash involving a rapid acceleration/deceleration in speed or a sudden jolt can force the head to jerk and move in a way that can cause the brain to impact the inside of the skull. These types of injuries can be just as detrimental to cognitive function as a direct blow to the head.

If you’ve been in an accident and you’ve developed common TBI symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, memory loss, or physical impairment, it’s extremely important, that you are evaluated by a physician with training in the diagnosis and treatment of closed head injuries. You will almost certainly need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you with recovering for the debilitating damage associated with TBI. If you or someone you love has been in an automobile accident, call the experienced brain injury lawyers at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free case evaluation.