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In October 1991 a 17 year-old high school football player was tackled on the last play of the first half of a varsity game and struck his head on the ground During halftime intermission he told a teammate that he felt ill and had a headache he did not tell the coach He played again during the third quarter and received several routine blows to his helmet during blocks and tackles He then collapsed on the field and was taken to a local hospital in a coma A computed tomography CT brain scan revealed diffuse swelling of the brain and a small subdural hematoma He was transferred to a regional trauma center where attempts to reduce elevated intracranial pressure were unsuccessful and he was pronounced brain dead four days later Head injuries are the leading cause of death in sports An average of eight football players a year dies from head injuries Cantu 1997 Known historically as a high-risk sport football is responsible for the majority of sports-related concussions today However there has also been a growing awareness of head injuries in other sports such as soccer and hockey cdcgov Nov 6 2002 The following will discuss definitions associated with head concussions causes of head concussions prevention of concussions and return to play guidelines A concussion is a syndrome involving an immediate and transient impairment in the ability of the brain to function properly Booher and Thibodeau 2000 There is no general agreement as to the exact definition of a concussion Retrograde amnesia is the loss of memory for events that occurred before the injury Anterograde amnesia is the loss of memory for events occurring immediately after awakening Booher and Thibodeau 2000 A subdural hematoma is a pooling of blood beneath the dura and this condition is the most frequent cause of death from trauma in athletics An epidural hematoma is a hematoma outside the dura which is usually associated with a skull fracture An
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