Student Athlete Concussion Target of Fort Lauderdale Teen App

Plans for a mobile app that aims to reduce student athlete concussions, the brainchild of seventh-graders at Pine Crest School, is now close to becoming reality. This was after they received the top honor in a national contest for the app, which they’ve been developing for the last two years.mri

Now, they’re in the running to work alongside software engineers with MIT to improve their app before it goes on the market. They’ll also receive $20,000 from the Verizon Foundation. It was one of 1,200 submissions nationally, and this was one of eight teams chosen to compete.

The goal of the app is to slash the number of student concussions and prevent traumatic brain injuries among young athletes. It’s an issue close to home for these Fort Lauderdale students, where just last year, 1 in 5 junior and varsity football team players – 10 out of 48 – suffered a concussion-related injury.

It would work like this: A device would be placed into each player’s helmet. When the player is struck, a message would be sent to the coach’s mobile device (smartphone, iPad, laptop, etc.). That message would inform the coach of how hard the player was hit, and provide other statistics on the level of force.

In turn, this would give the coach critical information about how best to address the situation. So even if a player initially seemed fine, the coach’s would be able to better judge how best to address the player’s medical needs.

From a personal injury lawyer standpoint, this information could also be beneficial if the coach did not take appropriate action. For example, if the force data indicated the player should be taken out of the game and examined by a health care professional – and the coach fails to do this – it could be used as concrete evidence of liability.

The hope, though, is that these sorts of missteps will be avoided entirely. We know coaches want to do right by their players. The idea is to give them the right tools to make those judgment calls easier and more precise.

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that often result from having one’s head and upper body shaken violently. There is a misconception that these injuries are somehow unique or uncommon. Not so.

It’s estimated more than 50 percent of high school athletes have sustained a sports-related concussion before they even enter high school. Nearly 40 percent of college athletes have a history of multiple concussions.

Worse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 70 percent of students with concussion symptoms don’t report it. A mobile app like this would make it harder to hide it.

Why is all of this so scary? First of all, the frontal cortex of the brain doesn’t fully develop until age 25. Damage to the brain at such a young age can be greatly detrimental to one’s development.

Post-concussion syndrome is a complex health condition that involves symptoms that last for weeks, months or even more than a year after concussion. It involves problems with dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, headaches and emotional changes.

The Pine Crest student app could potentially help to identify these problems before they develop into something more serious. Once it’s finished, rights to the app would be fully retained by the students and available for download in Google Play.

If your child has suffered significantly as a result of a concussion or other sports-related head injury, call our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers today.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

Fort Lauderdale students win $20k grant toward concussion app, Feb. 2, 2016, By Carlos Suarez, ABC Local 10

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