CDC releases report on Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Fatalities Among High School and College Football Players

football injury

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 2005 to 2014 a total of 28 deaths or 2.8 deaths per year occurred in high school and college football from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, according to information from the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.  24 of the deaths were in high school and all happened during the last five years of the study from 2010 through 2014.

The CDC and NCCSIR found the most common playing positions of those fatally injured were running backs and linebackers.  The report states approximately 18-percent of identified high school brain injury deaths were preceded by an earlier concussion, which might have led to second impact syndrome.  Among the 24 high school fatalities, 20 or 83-percent, occurred during a game and during the regular season; 17 of the deaths involved tackling or being tackled.  Of the 28 deaths, head first/head down contact was identified in eight of them.

The study goes on to state that the 2.8 deaths per year is down from a previous study between 1990 and 2010 that reported 3.1 deaths per year.

Click here to read the entire report.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.