Vol. 65, No. 52
January 06, 2017
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Kristen L. Kucera, PhD1; Rebecca K. Yau, PhD1,2; Johna Register-Mihalik, PhD3; Stephen W. Marshall, PhD2; Leah C. Thomas, MS1; Susanne Wolf1; Robert C. Cantu, MD4; Frederick O. Mueller, PhD1; Kevin M. Guskiewicz, PhD3 (View author affiliations)View suggested citation
SummaryWhat is already known about this topic?
Fatalities resulting from catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries occur infrequently among high school and college football players.What is added by this report?
During 2005–2014, a total of 28 traumatic brain and spinal cord injury deaths in high school and college football were identified (2.8 deaths per year). The most common playing positions of those fatally injured were running back and linebacker. Approximately 18% of identified high school brain injury deaths were preceded by an earlier concussion, which might have led to second impact syndrome.What are the implications for public health practice?
Implementing enhanced safety measures to prevent fatalities from catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries among high school and college football players has the potential to reduce the number of these fatalities. Continued surveillance is important to monitor the circumstances of these deaths and develop risk scenarios to improve prevention measures.