Traumatic Brain Injury: Michigan Lineman Walks Away from Football
Starting center Jack Miller will not be lining up for the Wolverines, or anyone else, this coming fall. The 21-year-old senior from Perrysville, Ohio announced that he was leaving the sport due to brain injury fears. Mr. Miller stated that he had one concussion in high school and as many as three more in 22 games, and 16 starts, at Michigan. He admitted that an incident last September, when team officials allowed quarterback Shane Morris to continue playing after he suffered an apparent concussion, had some bearing on his decision. Mr. Miller said that “this concussion thing” frightened him, adding that he was unsure whether or not he would allow a future son to play football. Mr. Miller was a three-year letterman who won the Hugh R. Rader Memorial Award as the team’s top offensive lineman following the 2014 season. In a related move, the Big 10 announced that it would station an independent athletic trainer in the replay booth beginning this season.
Traumatic Brain InjuryFootball players may be some of the highest-profile TBI victims, but they represent only a tiny fraction of the cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.7 million people sustain a TBI every year, and over 52,000 of them die. Overall, however, about 80 percent of these victims are treated and released at an emergency room. Many times, especially if the victim was in a motor vehicle collision or a slip-and-fall at work, doctors may not properly diagnose the TBI because they are understandably concerned with visible trauma injuries. Friends and family may notice subtle personality changes, but believe that they are shock-related. The sooner these TBIs are identified, the sooner medical professionals can try to correct the problem. Some typical symptoms include:
- Memory loss;
- Dizziness and headaches;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Blurred vision; and
- Sleep pattern changes.
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