Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Community News Network

February 17, 2014

Football helmets don't protect side of head from blows in tests

Players using current football helmets aren't adequately protected against hits to the side of the head, which can lead to sometimes-lethal concussions and brain swelling, researchers said.

Ten helmets tested by researchers reduced the likelihood of traumatic brain injury by an average of 20 percent compared with no helmet in a simulation using crash test dummies. The most effective helmet reduced the risk by only 30 percent, according to data released Monday.

Concussion risks in sports are under increasing scrutiny as some deaths among young football players may have been prevented if those with head injuries had been kept off the field, according to a 2011 study in the journal Pediatrics. Research published in January 2013 found abnormalities in the brains of former National Football League players compared with those who didn't play the game. Current tests of helmets focus on impacts that lead to broken skulls, and don't adequately assess the chances of traumatic brain injury, researchers said.

"None of them are fantastic, sadly, and maybe that's the take-home message," John Lloyd, the study author and the research director at San Antonio, Florida-based Brains Inc., said in a telephone interview. "Maybe if football players realized that their helmet only reduced their concussion risk by 20 to 30 percent, they'd lead with the head less often."

Professional sports leagues, including the NFL and Major League Baseball, have changed their medical protocols for treating players with head injuries in response to concussion data. Football is the deadliest sport among youths, and 12 percent of football deaths are caused by head or neck injuries involving students who returned to the game after a concussion. Helmets may provide another target to make sports safer, Lloyd said.

The researchers used a crash-test dummy head and neck to see how well they'd respond with and without helmets to 12 mile- per-hour impacts. They conducted 300 tests, and also tried to measure how much the brain twists in the head. The tests allowed the neck to flex on impact, to better simulate rotational forces.

"When the head comes to a sudden stop, if it's rotating, the brain material is twisting inside the head," Lloyd said. "That can cause concussion and brain injury, including life- threatening subdural hematomas."

The best helmet reduced the likelihood of concussion by 30 percent, Lloyd said. That may be because it was lighter than the other helmets, causing the head and neck to rotate less. It wasn't as good at providing protection against direct impacts that might shatter the skull, and didn't perform as well on standard tests, he said.

The study also found that football helmets fared better against linear impacts, which lead to bruising and skull fracture. Compared with dummies with no helmets, the football helmets reduced the risk of skull fracture by 60 to 70 percent and reduced the risk of brain bruising by 70 to 80 percent.

The research was released in advance of a presentation at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting starting April 26 in Philadelphia.

Lloyd suggested that taking the facemask off the helmet and switching to a soft helmet may help diffuse the impact, leading to fewer brain injuries. This is how the scalp works to protect the brain, moving to allow force to be spread and absorbed, he said. Helmets made of softer materials and without facemasks were used in football more than 50 years ago.

"If we got away from hard helmets, we could use advanced materials to provide protection for the head and brain," he said. "The only downside is you wouldn't have anything to attach a faceguard to."

Brains Inc., a company focused on the biomechanics of traumatic brain injury, supported the study.



 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-HB0713-HowardMartin-004.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    The mystery of what happened to a military transport plane that disappeared in the fall of 1952 into an Alaskan glacier was solved two years ago when a helicopter crew spotted the wreckage. But it took another two years to retrieve the remains of Airman Howard Miller and 16 other servicemen passengers. Saturday, Miller was laid to rest in his hometown of Elwood, Ind., with full military honors. Hundreds turned out for the funeral and burial services.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Poll

Would you be in favor of or opposed to housing at the closed CCA facility at Wolters Industrial Park some of the unaccompanied children who have crossed illegally into the U.S. and Texas?

In favor
Opposed
Not sure/undecided
Don't care
     View Results
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Weather Underground Radar
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Must Read
Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide