Abdominal Trauma in Football

A New Jersey high school football game ended in tragedy when quarterback Evan Murray died after sustaining an on-field injury.

“We spend a lot of time discussing head injuries in collision sports and for good reason: it’s important. With the tragic death of Evan Murray, we are reminded that the head is not the only vulnerable area of the body. As tackling techniques tend to focus more on a lower target, the abdominal organs will be at greater risk for injury,” says Dr. DeGiorgio.
Murray had taken a helmet to his stomach before the play that took him out of the game, he was pronounced dead in the hospital, the cause of death was attributed to massive internal bleeding caused by a laceration of the spleen.

Of injuries to the spleen and better protecting athletes from serious injury in the future, Dr. DeGiorgio says, “Splenic lacerations, are a very real and dangerous injury risk. In this particular case, there is no clear-cut reason why Evan’s spleen was enlarged. Despite this ambiguity, it is prudent that as a sports medicine community we create the safest playing environment possible and recognize that protecting the abdominal organs is no less important than the head. This tragedy should certainly spark this discussion on how to improve our athletes’ safety and at the very least mandate better protective equipment.” 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Evan Murray.

© 2017 St. Charles Orthopedics