BROCTON, N.Y. (WIVB) - Injuries like those that claimed the life of a high school football player at Brocton Central School District are uncommon.
Sixteen-year-old Damon Janes died at Women and Children's Hospital on Monday. The varsity player was critically injured in a helmet-to-helmet hit last Friday while playing in a football game at Portville.
Overall, there are lots of head injuries, and each year it's estimated that as many as 67,000 high school football players may have a concussion, but there are only about four catastrophic injuries - where the player dies or does not recover neurologically. That's rare and, of course, shocking when it happens.
Helmets are protective, but sometimes the force of a blow causes the brain to move back and forth within the skull - almost a vibratory motion - and that can damage the brain where it comes in contact with the bone.
Bruises in the brain can bleed, causing the brain to swell and become too large for the skull. The pressure of that swelling can cause unconsciousness and possibly death.
But this is very rare. Most of the time when there's a catastrophic injury, the player has had a previous concussion. Some of them have some abnormality in the brain that makes the brain more vulnerable or more likely to bleed.
It's another reason that players who do have a concussion must return to normal before they return to the playing field.
Several local business owners in Brocton are raising money to help the Janes family. There will also be a public benefit and spaghetti dinner on Sunday, September 29 from noon until 8 p.m. at the Nickel Plate Depot in Brocton. The event will also feature several raffles.
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