Southern Mississippi University is on the verge of a breakthrough that could potentially save the lives and protect the brains of thousands of our soldiers – and perhaps, one day, help cyclists, bikers and boxers, too. The University has been granted $4.9 million by the U.S. Army for further research, development and evaluation of their Pneumatic Cushioning helmet liner. Led by Dr. Jeff Wiggins, director of the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, Southern Miss researchers will spend the next two years “develop[ing] next generation pneumatic cushioning systems which exceed the blunt impact performance standard of current Army helmets in cold, ambient, and hot testing conditions,” according to Fox News.
The original helmet liners were designed for use in football helmets, back in 2011. By 2012, the Southern Miss Pneumatic Cushioning helmet liner “was one of only three helmets in the country independently rated in the May 2012 Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings as 5-Star highest performing helmet. Within one year the PC liner technology developed by USM, outperformed every helmet in the country through the most recognized rating system.”
Signs of a traumatic brain injury
The Southern Miss helmet liners could make a world of difference for men and women who serve in war zones – not only by protecting their skulls physically, but by potentially decreasing their chances of developing a traumatic brain injury. TBIs can have long-lasting effects, and some studies show that even a mild TBI can increase a soldier’s odds of developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the more serious effects can include:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Changes in personality
- Loss of motor skills
- Permanent brain damage, leading to impaired cognitive abilities
- Seizure disorders
- Sleep disruptions
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Potential paralysis
Some families of TBI victims find that their entire lives have changed in unexplained ways. Many face mounting medical bills and rehabilitation expenses, plus hefty costs for treatments or therapy aids. The families of soldiers may face additional challenges as well, especially if the soldier is released from duty, but the family lived in military housing, or if there is no other source of income to support them. Southern Miss’s helmet liners could help protect the brave men and women who fight for our country’s freedom.
If you have questions about traumatic brain injuries, we’ll be happy to give you the answers. We invite you to contact Taylor Jones Taylor to speak with an experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyer.