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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Football and brain trauma: a workplace health issue

Today's post is shared from http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle
The news that almost one third of NFL football players can expect to suffer the effects of brain trauma made headlines in major media. While it is not surprising that large men, often leading with their heads, bashing each other week after week suffer some consequences, what was unexpected was how many players are likely to be injured, and that the NFL actually acknowledged this reality.
Obviously, the findings lead to the question of what to do about it besides compensate the injured. In the context of workplace injuries the injury rate in this industry is tremendously high and the severity of the resulting health conditions, including life altering and shortening conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and Parkinson’s disease should raise serious alarm bells and initiate efforts to reduce the injury rate.
A major question is whether players can really be protected from head trauma given the way the game is played and the personal protective equipment that is available. The League put administrative controls in place a year or two ago, trying to limit certain types of contact to avoid butting heads, but injuries continue to occur. Helmets, the primary protective gear are technologically limited and cannot be designed to really protect the brain from serious trauma. Professional football is an example of work that cannot be made safe, at least without fundamentally altering the way the game is played.
As...
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