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Brain injuries: Survey shows lack of concussion knowledge

The Public Health Agency of Canada released the findings of an online survey to determine the level of knowledge residents in Ontario and other provinces have about concussion and its dangers. Authorities are concerned about the outcome. It indicated that about one half of all the respondents have little or no knowledge of the symptoms, prevention or available help when it comes to brain injuries.

Reportedly, almost all the respondents thought concussion symptoms last for only a few hours. In reality, dizziness, nausea, amnesia and headaches can continue for weeks or more, and repeated blows could cause permanent damage. Victims of multiple concussions can develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that can result in major memory loss, degenerative brain disease, personality changes, irritability and severe impairment of the ability to focus attention and make decisions.

All venues in which sports activities take place, leagues managing athletes, sport centres, schools and parents should be made aware of the severe consequences of concussions. Knowledge of the crucial precautions to take to prevent these injuries is essential. According to research, there is proof that even a single concussion can have long-term consequences.

Lawsuits against venues, sports leagues and others who failed to take adequate measures to protect athletes are not uncommon in Ontario. Victims of brain injuries under such circumstances -- or their parents if they are juveniles -- are entitled to pursue financial relief to recover economic and other damages through the civil justice system of the province. This is a complicated field of the law, and the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer can be a significant asset.

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