Understanding the Georgia high school football death

DENVER — Grieving continues in Georgia after a high school football player died two days after being hit in a game.

Dylan Thomas, 16, suffered a head injury before collapsing on the sideline Friday night.  He suffered from swelling of the brain and died Sunday.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, 4.4 million young people played organized football last year, and there were four deaths from on-field injuries.

Swelling of the brain is very serious.

Dr. Sue Kirelik, medical director at the Rocky Mountain Pediatric OrthoONE Center for Concussion, said it’s one of the most frightening things she dealt with in the emergency room.

She’s glad Colorado has legal requirements for coaches.

In Colorado, coaches must take a concussion course every year so they can recognize symptoms and know the protocol.

“Everybody needs to be educated on this. Recognizing potential concussion, reporting symptoms of concussion and removing players from participation if you suspect concussion is one of the most important things we can do in keeping these players safe because if you have an additional injury on top of an active concussion, that may increase your risk for this brain swelling.” Kirelik said.

Symptoms of concussion can include headache, dizziness, visual changes, or mental fogginess,

But symptoms of a more serious catastrophic injury include a severe and progressive headache, persistent vomiting, weakness in an area of the body or losing consciousness.

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