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Bobbing, weaving, collapsing and dying-preventing boxing deaths in the ring

MOJ Sports Medicine
Nitin K Sethi 


Background: Professional boxing is a popular combat sport around the world. It is unfortunately also a sport which carries a very high risk of concussion and more severe forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In a sport where every punch thrown to the opponent’s head is thrown with the intention of winning by causing a knockout (KO), TBI is an omnipresent danger. Traumatic subdural hematoma is the most common cause of boxing related mortality. The boxer either collapses in the ring during the fight or in the immediate aftermath of the fight. Discussion: Boxers with traumatic epidural and subdural hematoma often have a lucid interval and then exhibit rapid at times precipitous neurological deterioration as the hematoma expands. Rapid loss of consciousness follows leading to a comatose state. Development of brain edema and secondary ischemic injury are the other substrates of delayed neurological deterioration. Conclusion: Both the referee and the ringside physician (s) should be aware of this clinical presentation of acute TBI so that the fights can be stopped in a timely fashion, neither too early but certainly never too late! Innovate solutions can help present tragedies in the ring


boxing, combat sports, concussion, traumatic brain injury, lucid interval, malignant cerebral edema, second impact syndrome