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Weekend Warriors, Police Officers, Second Impacts often fatal

June 22, 2012


Although the recent news flurries about concussions have centered around the NFL after the suicide of Junior Seau on May 2nd, the vast majority of concussion victims are ordinary citizens.  Actually, the number one cause of sports-related head injuries is bike riding.  Although concussions are most often associated with athletes, law enforcement officers are certainly not immune to concussions and/or chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the line of duty or in training.  Take the example of Norfolk Police recruit John Kohn.   According to reports, Kohn was first punched in the face by a police trainer during training; he reported the incident to his wife and classmates, complaining of a headache.  Two days later he sustained additional head blows by another student and the instructor during a ground fighting session until he blacked out. Paramedics responded and he was flown to a hospital where he underwent brain surgery.  He remained in critical condition until he was taken off life support on December 18th, 2010. Doctors determined that the cause of death was due to multiple brain injuries (second-impact syndrome).  Whether he had reported his injuries to his superiors is under debate (and key to a pending lawsuit by his widowed wife).

The Norfolk Police have made changes in their training; they now ban intentional head strikes and require additional training for instructors and recruits in identifying and reporting possible injuries.  The NFL has also repeatedly made changes related to their head injury protocol.  But is it enough?  How much damage has already been done?  Do you know enough about concussions; not only as a LEO, but as a weekend warrior?  What about chronic traumatic encephalopathy?

Read the full article.

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