A new collar may reduce concussions

Many West Virginia residents suffer concussion, which are caused by an impact to the head that causes the brain to hit the inside of the skull. This kind of head injury, often associated with contact sports, could lead to complications, such as thinking and memory problems, headaches, low energy and depression. Athletic helmets are designed to reduce lacerations and skull fractures but not concussions.

A collar device has been developed that is specifically made to reduce the chances of a brain injury. Similar to the purpose of airbags and seat belts, the head collar lowers the g-force of an impact. It is lightweight and continually exerts a small amount of pressure to the veins of the neck that take blood from the heart to the head, and then back to the heart. Slight pressure to these veins lowers the amount of blood leaving the head, which leaves extra fluid in the brain that acts as a cushion.

The collar mimics what naturally occurs in the body when someone lies down. High altitudes cause a similar reduction in the amount of the blood leaving the head, and concussions seem to drop 30 percent. A study was done of high school athletes, and the collar largely protected those wearing it from this type of traumatic brain injury. A doctor of sports medicine believes it is promising, but it is still in the experimental stage.

Brain injuries also often result from falls or other sudden impacts, and are not uncommon to people who have been in car collisions. Brain injuries could cause permanent disability and the victim may need long-term care. If the injury was the result of a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, then a personal injury attorney may be of assistance in pursuing compensation from the at-fault party for the losses that the victim has sustained.

Source: Health Day, "New 'Collar' Aims to Help Shield Brain From Concussion", Alan Mozes, Nov. 20, 2015

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