While the abdominal injury that killed a Euclid (Ohio) High School football player last week is rare, safety advocates tell Cleveland.com that it is preventable and should not be treated as an anomaly.
Andre L. Jackson died Sept. 25 after suffering an injury in a game two days earlier. After suffering the abdominal injury and being admitted to a hospital Friday, Jackson was released on Saturday, and died on Sunday.
Jackson died of peritonitis caused by blunt force impact to his intestines, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner told Cleveland.com Tuesday.
Jackson was the third player nationally to die since the season began and the fifth since July.
In Florida, Kathy and Brian Haugen’s 15-year-old son Taylor died in 2008 after suffering an abdominal injury from a tackle during a game. Ever since, they have worked toward better protecting kids playing contact sports. The Haugens told Cleveland.com they didn’t know about compression shirts with two protective shields at the ribs that move with the player’s body until after his death.
Through the Taylor Haugen Foundation, they have helped 75 schools in 13 states buy EvoShield rib shirts for all the players on their teams — about 4,300 players total. The shirts sell for $60-$70 on EvoShield’s web site.
Concussion prevention programs are in place across the country. Nearly four years ago in Ohio, Gov. John Kasich signed the state’s “return to play” law, requiring coaches to be trained on head injuries and to withdraw a player showing signs of concussion or head injury until he or she is cleared by a physician.
Other injuries, by law, do not have to be reported.
Read more of Jackie Borchardt’s story from Cleveland.com here.