Second Impact Syndrome & Other Concussion Complications


An athlete returns to the game before symptoms from a mild head injury subside. If he is injured again, this is known as Second-Impact Syndrome (SIS) and can be very serious and even lead to death.

Unfortunately, many of the victims of SIS are young athletes. A concussion and its serious aftermath can also occur in a car accident, a serious fall, an on-the-job injury, or even violence.

When the injury is due to the negligence of others, the victim or their family may have a right to seek compensation for those injuries, even if they last a lifetime. 

It is important to understand that the state of Alabama gives you only two years from the accident to file a personal injury claim. After that time, you will generally be barred from seeking any compensation.

What is Second Impact Syndrome?

From a football game to a fall, boxing, skiing, basketball, cheerleading, and ice hockey, anyone who participates in a sport can face some risk. A traumatic brain injury or TBI is the initial assault and it can also result from an auto accident, being thrown from a car or a fall, or having something in a big box store fall on your head.

On the job, a large machine can strike a worker in the head or drag him into its mechanics. All of these scenarios have the potential to cause a TBI, which is a serious injury to the brain.

In the case of SIS, the brain may suffer a second blow to the head in an area that is already damaged. 

Symptoms might include vision changes, headaches, and cognitive difficulties. The second blow can lead to more serious symptoms such as loss of consciousness, severely dilated pupils, seizures, and brain herniation.

Death can result if the cerebral blood flow does not stop causing a massive cerebral edema, or swelling inside the skull.

It’s believed that the brain may be in a vulnerable state after the first concussion and the second impact may serve to break down the blood-brain barrier causing the brain to swell.

If the brain cannot regulate the fluid, it can swell and even has the possibility of herniating.  Death can occur within minutes or result in a severe traumatic brain injury.

If the SIS is not fatal, a victim can suffer long-term life-altering injuries such as brain damage, speech difficulties, and an inability to move and learn.

The SIS does not even have to be a strong impact, as long as it happens while the first impact is not yet resolved.

Other Concussion Complications

A concussion is a very serious injury and if an injury occurs to the brain, even if it does not appear to be serious, the injured should go to the nearest emergency center and have a CT scan of the head to evaluate it for any swelling or bleeding in the brain. 

The patient will be advised to rest and allow the brain to heal from the concussion.  That person should absolutely avoid any situation that could lead to SIS, such as going back into the game.  A concussion makes you forever vulnerable to the effects of future serious head trauma.   

Other symptoms of TBI may include confusion, vomiting, slurred speech, an inability to focus, blacking out, excessive sleeping, a change in personality, and memory problems.  While many people recover from a concussion or a TBI, a second serious impact to the skull can leave the victim in a permanent depression as he fails to return to his life before the accident.

That is when it is advised to contact a personal injury law firm to discuss the situation that led to the disability.

Personal Injury and TBI and SIS

As in many personal injury claims, we will want to review the situation that led to your injury.  Did the victim have the necessary and proper helmets to protect against head injury?  Was there an emphasis on safety in your child’s chosen sport? Did your child’s coach have him return to the field without clearing him medically?

In an auto accident, was the other party at-fault and caused your accident and subsequent head injury? 

Was your TBI or SIS caused by negligence at your workplace, or did a big box store not secure its merchandise properly on store shelves?

Attorney Chip Nix offers a free initial consultation concerning the factors that led to your injury. You need support during this difficult time and Mr. Nix will advocate for your right to financial and medical recovery. Please schedule your appointment, either online or in person at 334-203-6669.

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