A Frostburg State University senior died recently, a week after he collapsed during a school football practice session. Relatives say the history and political science major sustained a fatal brain injury after taking part in what the university said were “regular drills.”
The college fullback reported feeling dizzy during practice and passed out as he was being escorted off the playing field. The victim’s father said the 22-year-old was rushed to Western Maryland Medical Center and later transferred to Baltimore.
Doctors at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center performed several surgeries to reduce the swelling and pressure inside the college student’s brain. The Germantown native was removed from the critical list for a short time, but doctors said the head trauma was too severe. The swelling could not be stopped.
Relatives say the Bobcats’ team captain had no documented history of a possible contributing condition or any prior head injuries that they were aware of. The University of Frostburg student’s father said school and medical reports did not detail whether the brain injury was caused by single blow to the head or more than one.
The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research says that college-age football players are less likely than high school athletes to die from brain injuries. Second impact syndrome, a condition caused by multiple head injuries to underdeveloped brain tissue, is rare for physically mature players.
A neurosurgeon reported that older athletes sometimes may experience vascular engorgement after several head blows. He said most cases of second impact syndrome are seen in athletes younger than 19.