Nick Blackwell was a professional boxer until he had to be placed in a medically induced coma after sustaining serious injuries during a boxing match. While he recovered from his injuries, he retired from the sport. Many people are asking if head shots should be banned in boxing. Boxing is unique in the sports world in that it actually encourages participants to deal blows to the head.
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It is thought that at least 80% of boxers have brain scarring as the result of blows to the head. Some authorities want boxing to be banned completely. The problem is that it would likely continue underground with no safety measures at all, causing even more injuries.
Many fear that banning blows to the head would result in the slow death of the sport. Others fear that this would also cause many boxers to go underground.
While coaches and referees are supposed to keep participants safe, boxers sign agreements stating that they can’t hold anyone else liable for injuries sustained in a match or practice.
The answer to reducing injuries may lie in increasing liability in all sports. If officials were held liable for allowing injured players to continue, there may be fewer instances of serious injuries. There is also the matter of assumed risk. A boxer understands that he is assuming a risk of injury because of the nature of the sport.
Repeated head injuries causes symptoms resembling those of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and even Parkinson’s disease. Research seems to show that there is a threshold where permanent damage occurs. Up to a certain point, the brain can eventually repair the injuries it sustains. After the body crosses that threshold, however, the damage to the brain becomes permanent.
Some experts call for periodic brain scans to check for damage to boxers’ brains before they sustain a serious injury or even die as a result of a blow to the head. Since many symptoms related to traumatic brain injuries don’t show up until years after the damage has been done, this may help reduce the damage done to boxers’ brains.
Reno injury attorneys see many people that are injured as a result of sports related injuries. While some sports have a good chance of the injured party recovering damages, at least for now, boxers seem to have a high risk of injury and little recourse.