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JAMA. 1979 Apr 6;241(14):1477-9.

The National Football Head and Neck Injury Registry. Report and conclusions 1978.

Abstract

The National Football Head and Neck Injury Registry has documented 1,129 injuries since 1971 that involved hospitalization for more than 72 hours, surgical intervention, fracture-dislocation, permanent paralysis, or death. Of this group of injuries, 550 were fracture-dislocations of the cervical spine, of which 176 were associated with permanent quadriplegia. It appears that during the last two decades, there has been a decrease in the incidence of direct fatalities, head injuries associated with intracranial hemorrhage, and injuries associated with death. Conversely, cervical spine injuries with fracture-dislocation and with permanent quadriplegia have increased. We believe that these observations are the result of the development of a protective helmet-face mask system that has effectively protected the head, and by so doing has allowed it to be used as a battering ram in tackling and blocking techniques, thus placing the cervical spine at risk of injury.

PMID:
430685
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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