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Michigan youth football team tests new concussion sensor helmets

March 31, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

Brain Sentry concussion detector

I practice personal injury law in Michigan, where I help a lot of car accident survivors with serious brain injury. Over the years, this has led me to closely follow follow medical developments in the field of brain injury. It has also led to my association with the Michigan Brain Injury Association, where my law firm has sponsored donations promoting brain injury awareness, and to my election as a board member of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Litigation Group. I speak and attend many legal and medical seminars across the country on brain injury.

In other words, it’s a topic I’m passionate about and follow closely.

So I’m proud to say that a local youth football team is helping lead the way in concussion prevention – by using special football helmets with a new device that actually helps detect possible concussions.

The youth football team Rochester Ravens are from my backyard of Rochester, Michigan. And the Ravens are using the Brain Sentry helmet-mounted impact sensor, which attaches to the back of the helmet and tracks every single tackle, hit and tumble, as reported by clickondetroit.com.

According to the Maryland-based company, the sensors are designed to not only count hits, but measure if and when and athlete suffers an unusually rapid and potentially dangerous acceleration of the head. If there’s danger, the sensors light up.

A known risk factor in concussion is anything over 80G of acceleration.

The sensors weigh less than an ounce, are waterproof, and are inexpensive. It costs the program about $50 per player per season to lease them from Brain Sentry, according to Tony Betts, president of the Rochester Ravens Youth Football and Cheer.

As we’re closing out Brain Injury Awareness Month, I can’t think of a better way to help spread awareness of brain injuries than by this youth football team now using such a device. This concussion sensor also has tremendous potential application for all sports (I read just over the weekend that a new study by Virginia Tech has found that hockey helmets are essentially useless and provide no protection from brain injury).

And using them with children is the best way to begin to protect those little heads.

I also write about concussion and brain injury, and have touched on the need for change in professional sports. There was the $765 million settlement between the NFL and the former football players who suffered brain injuries. Recently, there was a lawsuit between two wrestlers with brain injury and the WWE. And let’s not forget racer Dale Earnhardt Junior speaking out about his life-threatening multiple concussions.

The Ravens are the first program in metro Detroit to make a sensor mandatory.

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