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Concussions have gained widespread attention within the past few years, as more and more cases among adolescent athletes, in particular, are being reported, and new research sheds insight into the damage these injuries can do.

To help keep you up to date, here are some of the latest concussion statistics:



While the media has primarily focused on the rising concussion rates in youth and professional football players, research by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), an international association of musculoskeletal specialists, suggests female soccer players at the high school level are the most susceptible.

In March 2017, the AAOS presented new research regarding concussions, based on a decade of “injury data” from 2005 to 2015. The data focused on a handful of sports for both male and female athletes: “football, soccer, basketball, wrestling and baseball for boys and soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball for girls.”

The association's findings revealed:

  • “The number of diagnosed concussions increased 2.2 fold from 2005 to 2015,” despite the fact that participation, overall, was down.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, female soccer players were the most likely to get a concussion.
  • The number of concussions among baseball players and female volleyball players increased the most during this period.
  • Female athletes may be more at risk of head injuries “due to a lack of protective gear, an emphasis on in-game contact and the practice of ‘headers’—hitting the ball with your head.”

Furthermore, as reported in September 2017 by the JAMA Network—an organization comprised of 12 peer-reviewed medical journals—a recent study found that about 20 percent of Canadian adolescents alone have sustained concussions. This statistic served as a baseline for the actual study, which revealed that approximately 19.5 percent of U.S. adolescents have been diagnosed with at least one concussion.



You don’t have to be an athlete to get a concussion. It can happen to anyone, at any age, under an array of circumstances.  

A March 2017 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s health protection agency, include concussion statistics based on a study conducted from 2007 to 2013. It aims to compare the statistics from the former year to the latter year, taking notice of any significant changes that took place.

According to its findings:

  • In 2013 alone, there were about 2.5 million emergency room visits, 282,000 hospitalizations, and 56,000 deaths related to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States. This adds up to approximately 2.8 million instances.
  • The most common causes, regardless of age, were falls, being struck by or hit against an object, and motor vehicle accidents.
  • However, the report states: “Whereas motor-vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI-related deaths in 2007 in both number and rate, in 2013, intentional self-harm was the leading cause in number and rate.”
  • But the number of TBI-related deaths “for all ages” decreased over this six-year period—from 17.9 to 17.0 (per 100,000 population).
  • The report continues: “Age-adjusted TBI-related death rates attributable to falls increased from 3.8 [per 100,000 population] in 2007 to 4.5 in 2013, primarily among older adults.”

Since anyone can potentially suffer a concussion, it’s important to know the common symptoms associated with head injuries. This way, if you or a loved one has experienced such an injury, you’ll be able to recognize the signs, and seek medical attention from a trusted health care professional as soon as possible.

Doing so could result in an early diagnosis, which puts you on a speedier path to recovery, and enables you to start your concussion treatment right away.



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Written by Alan Katz, MD, FUHM, FACEP, FAAEM

Dr. Alan Katz, National Medical Director of Hyperbaric Medical Solutions (HMS), is double board certified in Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine. He directs clinical operations, as well as education and research initiatives for HMS, particularly in exploring the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy....

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