Posts Tagged ‘head injury’


Posted on: June 23rd, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments


Our guest blogger Emma McClean BSc(Hons) RN, Bridge Case Management considers Hatcams.

Whilst I would not dispute that it is now a real need to have some form of video capture equipment when riding out on the road these days, I would like people to strongly consider where they mount such a camera, without just following fashion.

I have been in contact with two major riding hat manufactures to seek their advice on mounting cameras on riding hats, and have combined this with my own 20+ years of trauma nursing experience to provide some points for consideration.

Blunt trauma produces injury by transferring energy through acceleration forces (+ and -) to the victim (usually from motor vehicles or falls). The pattern and severity of injury are determined by the magnitude and orientation of the acceleration change to the victim’s anatomy. Mechanisms and patterns of injury: the key to anticipation in trauma management, Grande CM, Crit Care Clin, 1990 Jan;6(1):25-35. Review

Your riding hat is designed to dissipate the energy around the shell of the hat, thus reducing the energy transfer (and therefore potential for injury) to your skull and brain.

Fixing anything to your riding hat will alter how the energy is dissipated.

Using adhesives or screws to fix anything to your riding hat can inhibit the ability of the riding hat to dissipate the energy by altering the construction.

There is no current test within the safety standards to look at how mounting a camera on your hat could affect it in an impact.

The next point to consider is the alteration of ‘head shape’ caused by a hat mounted camera. Our heads are shaped so that in a fall with rotational movement our heads will roll. Consider how easy it is to roll a foot ball compared to a rugby ball end to end. An object which prevents the roll of the head will increase the amount of energy transferred to the body. This rotational energy increases the risk of a diffuse axonal brain injury, which at worse can result in brain death, and at best a wide range of neurological damage. It can also increase the risk of spinal cord damage from the same increased rotation.

Well done if you’ve made it this far through the post, but the facts should be considered. I have spent some time contemplating whether I should write this or not but I feel compelled too. After 20 years as a front line trauma nurse, and now working within the field of rehabilitation I feel I have a responsibility to ensure people are making choices for safety based on fact not fashion.

I wear a Contour Roam 2 when hacking out. I wear it at the top of my boot. It captures the information which may be required if anything bad was to happen. And I risk a minor leg fracture. I can live with that, but I don’t want a brain injury!

We buy riding hats to protect our heads when riding, why would you then risk altering how it is designed to work? Would you tamper with the seat belts in your car?

Questions received:


I use a hatcam on a band around my hat will this have the same effect?

There are 2 points to consider here. Firstly the weight of the camera may in itself pull the hat slightly in that direction, thus altering the fit. During a fall the velocity of movement can increase the weight, thus causing the hat to slip further, and not be sitting adequately over the areas that it was designed to. Secondly, if the strap is stable enough to keep the camera in place when trotting, cantering and jumping, it is more likely that it will stay in place during a fall. The hat strap that came with my camera had the wiggly grippy lines on it. This combined with the textured surface of my skull style hat meant the strap was not going to budge.

Is a chest mounted camera safe?

When we fall forwards our instinct is to put our arms out to break the fall. This reduces the energy transmitted to our face and chest, but can lead to broken arms, which generally mend ok. Our sternum and ribs are there to protect our heart and lungs and are well sprung to aid in doing this. Based on the above I would think your chances of serious injury from a chest mounted camera are relatively low. You may have to experiment with this type of placement to see if you capture the images you want on the camera.

Could I mount a camera on my arm?

I’m sure you could. If you are mounting a camera on your arm try and have it in the middle of your upper arm, or the middle of your forearm i.e. avoid the joints. If you were to fall fractures in the middle of your arm bones heal well. Again you might have to experiment with the quality of footage you get from an arm mounted camera, as there could be a lot of movement.

How do you secure your camera?

I was inspired by the placement when I found an old mobile phone holder in a drawer. If you don’t remember they were neoprene holders we strapped round our legs to hold our Nokias! I bought a kit of mounts for my camera, and I am using two straps (as 1 is not long enough) designed to fasten to handle bars or ski poles. I have joined them together with a bit of elastic. They then attach to a camera mount (again for handle bar use) which swivels and locks.


If you did make a claim for injury following an incident any alteration to personal protective equipment (or omission to use it) would render you partially liable for your injuries. This would affect any monies awarded.*

Thank you again, stay safe


Thank you to Emma McClean BSc(Hons) RN, Bridge Case Management for allowing us to reproduce this informative article.


*This is the view of Emma McClean and not Davey Law, nor should it be considered any substitute for legal advice.


Making a brain injury claim

Posted on: May 6th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Welcome to our new video about making a brain or head injury compensation claim.

To watch the video click here      serious injury expert Isobel Addison

Our serious injury expert Isobel Addison explains that we understand that the thought of bringing a claim is often daunting. We can offer personal, professional and practical help.

We know that people around you are using confusing terms and expressions that you may never have heard before at a time when you are least able to make calm and considered decisions.

Our serious injury team, here at Davey Law, has decades of experience of helping people like you.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered a serious injury call us on 01285 654875 to discuss your claim.


If you have been injured because of the actions of another person you may be eligible to make a claim for head injury compensation. You may have been in a road accident, an assault, had an accident at work or been the victim of medical negligence.  You may not immediately have been aware of how serious your injury was, or how much you were affected day-to-day.

Why make a head injury compensation claim?

A successful claim could help to provide funding for essential support. In order to achieve the best outcome it is essential to find a specialist solicitor with expertise in head injury compensation cases.  Someone with the right experience will be able to build a case for compensation that will appreciate and  address your future needs.

Brain Injury Group members – setting the standard.

As members of the Brain Injury Group we can show that we have met their very strict criteria and ethical code of conduct. Our membership gives us exclusive access to a range of professionals and who help to rebuild lives after brain injury. 


Call us on 01285 654875




American Football and CTE

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Following on from our previous blog American Football may ban helmets Reuters Health report that a U.S research report into a former college football player who sustained repeated hits to the head and showed signs of brain damage after his death may offer fresh clues about how concussions impact athletes.

The gentleman concerned began playing American Football at the age of 6 and suffered his first concussion aged 8 and suffering more than 10 concussions in all.

At age 24, neurological tests found he had memory and recall problems, speech and language impairment and difficulties remembering and reproducing line drawings.

After his death, researchers examined his medical records and his donated brain and agreed he had post-concussive syndrome with possible CTE and major depression.

The 25 year old died of a cardiac arrest related to an infection in his heart, but the autopsy showed signs of brain damage consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is a traumatic brain disorder at can only be diagnosed during an autopsy.  It is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions.  CTE has been known to affect boxers since the 1920’s (when it was termed punch drunk syndrome or dementia pugilistica).  In recent years the disease has been found in other athletes, including football and hockey players, as well as in military veterans.  Repeated brain trauma triggers progressive degeneration of the brain tissue, including the build-up of an abnormal protein called tau.  The brain degeneration is associated with common symptoms of CTE including memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, suicidal tendencies, parkinsons, and eventually progressive dementia. These symptoms often begin years, or even decades after the last brain trauma or end of active athletic involvement.

It is believed that other factors, such as genetics, may play a role in the development of CTE, as not everyone with a history of repeated brain trauma develops this disease, however, these other factors are not yet understood.

It is becoming more widely understood that CTE affects not only professional athletes but  that contact sports athletes at the amateur level are also at risk for the disease.

While this isn’t the first former football player to be diagnosed with CTE after years playing contact sports, this particular athlete had a series of psychological and cognitive tests before his death that offer some insight into how symptoms of CTE might develop, McKee and colleagues note in their report.

More research is needed however CTE should be considered in young athletes who have repeated head trauma as well as persistent mood and behavioral symptoms.

Such research might help us to understand progressive psychological conditions and conditions that would otherwise be considered early onset dementia and underline the importance of proper investigation into traumatic brain injury.

We regularly act for clients that have sustained traumatic head injuries and any research that helps us to anticipate any additional difficulties that they might face in later life will ensure that we can secure sufficient compensation for their future needs.



Posted on: December 17th, 2015 by Isobel Addison No Comments

The NHS Choices website states that most cases of concussion occur in children and teenagers aged 5 to 14, with the two most common causes being sporting and cycling accidents. Falls and motor vehicle accidents are a more common cause of concussion in older adults.

The most common symptoms of concussion are: confusion, headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, feeling stunned or dazed, disturbances with vision and difficulties with memory.

People who regularly play competitive team sports such as football and rugby have a higher risk of concussion.


An inquest into the death of Jeff Astle, former England and West Bromwich Albion player, who died in 2002 aged 59, found that he had suffered death by industrial disease: his brain having been damaged by the repeated heading of heavy leather footballs.

We have seen only too often footballers suffer head injuries and then continue to play and a report into injuries suffered at the 2014 FIFA World Cup found that there were 1.68 injuries per match. 18% were head injuries and they included five concussions and three fractures. Almost all of the head injuries were caused by contact.


The RFU website suggests that about 25% of injuries during play are to the head (including concussions, cuts, bruises, and so on). Approximately it is thought in the professional game 1 concussion is suffered in every 3 games and in the amateur game the rate is 1 concussion in every 21 games.

We were saddened to read that Lily Partridge a 23 year old part-time teacher, zoo-worker and sportswoman lost her life earlier this month having suffered a head injury during a rugby match in Devon. Only last year Sarah Chesters, died over a month after suffering an injury whilst playing rugby. An inquest determined that Miss Chesters died from brain injuries thought to have been triggered by blunt force trauma to the side of the neck when she first sustained injury, caused by a tackle.

What to do?

The NHS Choices website recommends that you visit your nearest accident and emergency department if you or someone in your care has a head injury resulting in concussion and then develops any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • loss of consciousness from which the person then recovers
  • amnesia (memory loss)
  • persistent headaches since the injury
  • changes in behaviour – a particularly common sign in children under the age of five
  • confusion
  • drowsiness that goes on for longer than an hour when you would normally be awake
  • large bruise or wound to the head or face
  • prolonged vision problems
  • reading or writing problems
  • balance problems or difficulty walking
  • loss of power in part of the body, such as weakness in an arm or leg
  • clear fluid leaking from the nose or ears
  • a black eye with no other damage around the eye
  • sudden deafness in one or both ears

Head Injuries can, as evidenced by the sad stories of Lily Partridge and Sarah Chesters be devastating, very quickly. They may, as they proved to be for Jeff Astle, have long term health implications.

If you are in any doubt about head injuries of any kind, including concussional head injuries, you should seek medical advice.


Serious head injuries and crime

Posted on: December 10th, 2015 by Isobel Addison No Comments

Study suggests that many youngsters who commit crimes have sustained serious head injuries

A recent study suggests that many youngsters who commit crimes have sustained serious head injuries or have undiagnosed neurodevelopmental impairment.

A new report entitled Supporting young people with neurodevelopmental impairment published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and co-authored by Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan, and Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, Dr Nathan Hughes, says that the youth justice system has become the primary service provider to a large number of young people with brain injuries and other brain impairments.

The authors argue that young people with brain injuries and impairments can behave in a confrontational or anti-social manner, putting them at risk of being criminalised for behaviours related to their underlying medical condition. In place of criminalising young people with brain injuries and impairments, the authors call for early and sustained interventions, led by health and education practitioners, to support young people whose medical conditions can be manifested in disruptive and confrontational behaviour, along with their families.

Serious head injuries prior to imprisonment are four times as common among young people in custody as among young people in the general population, the report finds.

Other findings include:

  • Between 60-90 % of young people in custody have a significant communication impairment, compared with only 5-7% among the general youth population.
  • 23-32 % of young people custody have a learning disability, compared with just 2-4 % in the general youth population.
  • 15 % of those in custody are on the autism spectrum, compared with only one per cent in the general youth population.

Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan, one of the report co-authors, said:

Clinical and research evidence supports the finding that a significant number of young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system have missed neurodevelopmental needs. Early recognition and support to young people and families may prevent secondary difficulties developing across a range of areas including education, health and social needs as well as impact on services. These findings strengthen the argument for a public health response through a more co-ordinated multi-agency approach across public sector services.

Dr Nathan Hughes, the other co-author of the report, said:

The research evidence clearly demonstrates a youth justice system that continues to criminalise and punish young people for the risks and vulnerabilities associated with neurodevelopmental impairment. What’s more, these young people are within the criminal justice system as a result of the failures of schools and health services to effectively support them and their families.

However, improved understandings of neurodevelopmental impairments also offer opportunities to address this, enabling screening and assessment to ensure earlier identification, and supporting practices and interventions that are responsive to learning and support needs.

Deborah Fortescue, Head of Foundation, The Disabilities Trust, who are launching a new case study video, Byron’s Story  to co-incide with the launch of the report said:

The evidence is clear, there are too many young people in the criminal justice system who have neurodevelopmental disorders, which are often unrecognised and subsequently undiagnosed.  We need to raise awareness, start screening for brain injury and educate people on the consequences of such disorders to enable them to support and divert people away from the criminal justice system wherever possible.  The earlier in the system this can happen the better.

Will McMahon, Deputy Director at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies said:

The criminal justice system cannot effectively address these issues. There needs to be a radical rethink of service provision that begins with the family and school and has no need of criminal justice intervention.