Could a High-Tech “Hat” Help Prevent Traumatic Brian Injuries?

A recent study out of Canada suggests that one in five teens has experienced a traumatic brain injury.

A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. While TBIs have a variety of causes, including car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and slip and fall accidents, many head injuries occur on the sports field. Athletes of all ages are particularly susceptible to concussions. While they are the mildest form of TBI, studies show that repetitive concussions can cause significant damage over time.

Keeping Athletes Safe

To help keep athletes safe, Reebok and several other companies are working on technology designed to send out an alert when an athlete suffers a moderate or severe blow to the head. As reported by the New York Times, the devices are equipped with sensors and microprocessors that detect a blow to a player’s skull and immediately send an alert by blinking brightly or sending a wireless message.

For example, the CheckLight, a washable beanie created jointly by MC10 and Reebok, features an electronics module that senses a blow to the head and triggers an LED readout on the outside. It blinks yellow if the impact is moderate, or red if it is severe. Doctors are optimistic about the device’s ability to provide information to coaches and trainers off the field. “They give you a rough estimate of the total number of hits to the head the person has taken,” according to Dr. Robert C. Cantu, a neurosurgery professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and medical director of the Sports Legacy Institute.

Some Words of Caution

“You don’t want to get a high number of hits,” he said, “because there is no hit that is good for your head.” While the new devices may signal when an athlete should be evaluated for a TBI, they should not serve as a diagnostic tool, Dr. Cantu cautioned. “There’s no magic number you can read on a device that means you have a concussion,” he said. “Many more factors besides forces are involved.” Nonetheless, the devices suggest that technology may be one way to protect young athletes that participate in hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and other sports where blows to the head frequently occur.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.