In a study by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Injury Surveillance Program, officials found that in comparable sports, women suffered concussions at much higher rates than did men. During a five-year period, women suffered concussions in 6.3 per 1,000 athlete exposures versus 3.4 per 1,000 for men in soccer. In basketball, the rate was 6.0 per 1,000 for women and 3.9 per 1,000 for men. The NCAA found similar disparities in softball/baseball, with rates of 3.3 for women and 0.9 for men. NCAA officials found that symptoms were roughly similar in type and intensity, but that women were slower to return to normal activity.
Research Is Only Beginning to Address These Differences
Scientists have known for about 10 years that female athletes suffer concussions at a higher rate compared to males when playing comparable sports with essentially the same rules, such as soccer, basketball, and baseball or softball. Women also tend to report more symptoms, and more severe symptoms, and generally take more time to recover from concussions than do men playing comparable sports.
Scientists have not quickly explored why this is so. Medical research on concussions in the past has tended to focus on males. Experiments using mice have historically used only male mice. Recent studies using male and female mice have indicated different concussion recovery responses based on gender.
With more women participating in sports at all age levels, however, that focus is changing. Other research not related to concussions has shown that male and female brains differ in many ways, including chemistry, physiology, anatomy, and activity patterns. These differences have led researchers to believe that concussions might affect female athletes differently than their male counterparts as well. The reasons could include hormonal differences, differences in upper-body construction, how male and female bodies react to collisions, and the likelihood that females are more likely to self-report concussion-related symptoms than their male counterparts.
Female Concussion Victims May Obtain More Compensation Than Their Male Counterparts
The results of this study may have implications in areas beyond sports and injury treatment protocols. If women are more affected by concussions than men, it may prove relevant to damage awards in cases involving concussions that result from the negligent conduct of others—like car accidents, slips and falls, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. As a result, women concussion victims should not simply accept the “standard” concussion settlement offer made by an insurance company and fight for the full and fair value of their claims—a fight that the assistance of an experienced lawyer can make significantly easier.
If You Suffered a Concussion in the Richmond area, Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of Emroch & Kilduff
If you are a woman who has suffered a concussion in the Richmond area and believe that you have not received proper medical treatment, speak with an attorney. If your treatment did not take into consideration gender differences related to concussions, you might need to pursue legal avenues to ensure you receive the proper treatment and compensation. Emroch & Kilduff specialize in personal injury law, and are well positioned to assist you. You can reach us at (804) 358-1568 or through our online contact form.