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Mouth Guard Warns Student Athletes of Concussions

When a student athlete suffers a concussion, he or she may not even realize anything is wrong. But a new mouth guard developed by a brain injury survivor will warn coaches when to take the athlete off the field.

Arizona State University graduate, Anthony Gonzales, is no stranger to sport-related injuries. As a student athlete, he was once hit so hard that he didn’t remember what team he was on. The scarier part was, he didn’t even know he was hurt. If it wasn’t for the sharp eyes of his teammates and coaches, he could have taken a second hit and suffered a serious secondary traumatic brain injury.

After he recovered, he teamed up with a classmate to create a mouth guard that warns student athletes of dangerous concussions, even when they can’t tell they were hurt. The FITGuard takes the guess work out of monitoring players’ health. Sensors in the mouth guard measure the force of any blow the athletes receives. When there is a high chance of concussion, the front of the mouth guard turns red.

Even if the initial hit doesn’t trigger a warning, the mouth guard will continue tracking the student athlete’s symptoms for several minutes, transmitting vital data to a coach or parent’s computer or tablet.

The FITGuard is scheduled to be released in 2016 and will be priced around $100 a piece. That is a small price to pay compared to the cost of medical expenses after a serious brain injury.

Sports-related concussions have been shown to cause long-term brain damage, even when the initial injury doesn’t cause any symptoms. Children and teenagers who suffer concussions from playing sports are at higher risk for attention problems, memory issues, and even drug use.

Everyone from the American Medical Association to state regulators are taking note of the dangers of childhood sports concussions. In Connecticut, state senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., recently announced that his state’s Department of Education had released a “Concussion Plan and Guidelines for Connecticut Schools.” The plan will make sure that parents, student athletes, and coaches are all educated on how to detect and respond to sport-related concussions.

Michigan passed a similar law in 2013, requiring sports teams to notify families of the risk of concussions and brain injuries. The law also requires coaches to remove injured players from the game immediately.

The cost of treating a serious concussion can devastate a family. The attorneys at Christensen Law represent the victims of traumatic brain injury, particularly when they are caused by an auto accident, to get their medical expenses covered. If you or your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.