Rather than performing on a stage, synchronized swimmers perform in the water. Synchronized swimming is similar to dance; therefore, the sport is sometimes called water ballet. Swimmers can perform solo, as a duet, or on a team of four to eight people. The objective of the sport is to have athletes perform synchronized dance routines to background music. Unless they are performing a solo routine, all team members must make the same movements to the rhythm of the background music.
Synchronized swimming is an artistic sport that requires strength, flexibility, and grace. The sport can be beautiful to witness. The swimmers practice long hours and work hard to develop routines that range from two and half minutes to five minutes long. Unfortunately, the sport does not exist without its dangers. As is the case with a variety of other sports, synchronized swimming can cause mild to severe head, neck, and shoulder injuries. One of the most prevalent forms of injury in synchronized swimming is a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury.
Synchronized Swimming Concussions Are Linked to Traumatic Brain Injuries
In synchronized swimming, a group or pair of swimmers perform elaborate dance moves underwater. Swimmers often come close to one another while performing their routines. Their proximity to each other can potentially be dangerous. Swimmers may accidentally kick, hit, or fall into each other, giving each other concussions. The managing director of sports medicine for the United States Olympic Committee, Bill Moreau, stated that half of the swimmers he has seen sustained concussions.
A concussion is a common type of traumatic brain injury. This form of traumatic brain injury affects the function of the brain, usually for a temporary period. Often, a concussion is the result of a violent blow to the head. The shaking of the head and the upper body causes the concussion. Common symptoms of a concussion are often similar to the effects of the complex underwater movements and the holding of one’s breath for an extended period. The very nature of synchronized swimming makes it difficult for swimmers to recognize that they are experiencing a concussion. The common symptoms that concussions share with the effects of synchronized swimming include:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
It should be noted that some distinctions between the effects of synchronized swimming and concussions do exist; however, concussions can still be confused with reactions to complex underwater movements or holding one’s breath for too long. Other symptoms of concussions that are not similar to synchronized swimming effects include:
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Concentration difficulties
- Memory loss
Some of these symptoms, such as memory loss, may not appear immediately after the injury. Should these symptoms worsen or continue, they may indicate that the concussion is more severe than it initially seemed. Although concussions typically are temporary, that is not always the case. A mild concussion could be short and do no permanent damage to the brain; however, with more severe injuries, a concussion can last longer and damage the brain cells.
What to Do after Sustaining a Head Injury during Synchronized Swimming
Many swimmers who experience concussions do not notice it immediately, and they do not check in with a doctor. There is often a lack of awareness surrounding concussions symptoms. Swimmers need to seek medical attention right after a head injury. In the days following the accident, the swimmer should check to ensure that the injury is not a more severe traumatic brain injury.
Should brain damage be diagnosed, the goal is to stabilize the person and ensure proper oxygen flow to the brain and the rest of the body. Stabilizing the person will control blood pressure and prevent further injury. People with mild or moderate concussions may need an X-ray to check for bone fractures or spinal instability. A moderate to severe concussion may require imaging via a CT scan.
Contact the California Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of JG Winter
At the Law Offices of JG Winter, we understand how overwhelming and difficult sustaining a traumatic brain injury can be. It is crucial to remember that you are not automatically entitled to financial compensation simply because you have suffered an injury. Receiving compensation for any injury you sustained during an accident usually requires you to prove that the other party was negligent. To recover compensation, the other party’s actions usually must have caused your injuries.
Proving negligence can be complex and challenging. The Law Offices of JG Winter has the necessary industry experts, investigators, and medical professionals to identify the at-fault party and build a solid case for you. Our brain injury attorneys will handle the insurance companies and answer all your questions while you focus on your recovery. To schedule a free consultation or to find out more information, contact us through our online form or call (844) 734-2626.