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Breaking News      Next Generation Of Super Bowl Helmets Allows Brain Injury Electronic Monitoring
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07 February 2011 

 
Next Generation Of Super Bowl Helmets Allows Brain Injury Electronic Monitoring
 
It’s been branded “the most dangerous of games”, yet each year 3
million American children sign up to play Super Bowl,  almost half
continue to play into high school. 
 
Each year 140,000 Super Bowl players are involved in a collision
that causes a concussion.  Half of those injured go straight back onto
the field to play, potentially causing the young person permanent brain
damage. 
 
The high rate of injury has worried officials, what do you do when
the current helmets worn are inadequate to protect the head from the
impact of another head or shoulder as it smashes into your skull at an
enormous speed?
 
Today the New Scientist detailed how the latest technology is being
integrated into helmet designed to reduce the long term impact of brain
injury on players.
 
The focus of helmet design to date has been to minimize the damage
from a high level impact.  The smaller, more frequent blows often
penetrate the helmet often through the skull and onto the brain.
 
These are the injuries that often people believe they are able to
get up from, brush themselves down then straight back onto the field to
finish the game.  Yet as the player continues the injury is slowly
causing more and more damage to the brain.
 
The new smart helmets are being developed by Riddell who with Intel
are adapting technology used in crash tests for cars to produce the
next generation of Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS) .  
 
The helmets are fitted with impact monitors that access what part
of the head the injury affected, and the length of the impact. 
 
One of the most significant parts of the information that will be
transferred to medical staff in real time is the angle in which the
impact took place.
 
Current research shows that a linear impact, or a hit from direct
on, is far more damaging than a rotational acceleration, or swiping the
head. 
 
Armed with this information medical support workers can far more
accurately assess the injury and make a more informed decision about
what action to take to protect the player.

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References:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20090-briefing-time-for-smart-helmets-in-the-super-bowl.html?page=1

http://www.subtlebraininjury.com/blog/2010/02/super-bowl-coverage-and-the-concussion-issue.html

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1957046,00.html

https://ssl-w03dnn0374.websiteseguro.com/sbn-neurocirurgia/site/download/artigos/King_IRCOBI_2003.pdf

http://www.besportier.com/archives/riddell-revolution-head-impact.html

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