As some of our more regular readers know, we are not strangers to the topic of brain injuries. In fact, we've written dozens of posts on the subject, talking with our readers about everything from the situations in which a brain injury may be suffered to the effects a brain injury can have on an individual over the course of their life. In one particular post written last December, we even touched on the seriousness of suffering multiple concussions over the course of a lifetime.
Those who read our post may remember a brief mentioning of a condition referred to as second impact syndrome. At the time of writing the post, we did not have time to delve into what this condition is or in what situations it occurs. That's why in today's post, we'd like to take a closer look at second impact syndrome.
The term was first used in 1984 by Saunders and Harbaugh to describe the "diffuse cerebral swelling" and "brain herniation" that occurs after suffering a second head trauma too soon after suffering the first. In some cases, patients with second impact syndrome, or SIS, died as a result of the secondary head trauma.
Though recognized by some in the medical field as a real condition, SIS is still considered a controversial condition because its occurrence, particularly among American football players, has not received any outstanding support from the international community where occurrences of SIS have not been similarly reported.
Even though those in the medical community are still arguing over the frequency of SIS occurrences, any head trauma should be taken very seriously, regardless of whether it's your first or second. As was so aptly pointed out in one medical journal publication, the brain is the only organ in the body that doesn't regenerate and can't be replaced, meaning any damage suffered is damage a person has to live with for the rest of their life. It's for this and many other reasons that head injuries need to be addressed quickly and appropriately to mitigate lifetime damage for a patient.