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NCAA changes rules, finances study to prevent head injuries

As many Arizona residents know, traumatic brain injury refers to any injury that may hinder normal functioning of the brain. A traumatic brain injury could be caused by a jolt or bump to the head or even a penetrating head injury Brain injury has become a serious problem in the United States, particularly when it comes to sports.

A class action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association regarding head injuries was recently settled. The governing body of college sports came to an agreement for implementing a return to play policy wherein guidelines were framed for treatment of players suffering from head injuries. As part of the settlement, the NCAA will pay $70 million towards a fund aimed at identifying and diagnosing players suffering from traumatic brain injuries. A study for researching concussions was also announced by NCAA.

Professional athletes have always been vulnerable to head injuries. The NCAA's own figures have estimated that around 29,225 concussions occurred in NCAA athletes between 2004 and 2009. Out of this, 16,000 were football related injuries, 3,374 reportedly suffered brain injuries while playing men's soccer, while athletes playing women's soccer had around 5,751 injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries can lead to severe and grave consequences. Brain injuries can range from mild to severe. A victim of traumatic brain injury may be rendered temporarily or permanently disabled. Such a disability can often lead to unemployment and expensive medical bills. Brain injuries can even be fatal.

The victim of a brain injury or his or her family may suffer from emotional stress and financial pressure as well. Brain surgeries and treatment for this type of injury can often be quite costly. In some cases a victim may seek financial compensation in order to help pay for medical treatment incurred due to such an injury.

Source: KVOA.com, "NCAA settles head injury suit, will change rule", July 29, 2014

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