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Fatal Second Impact Syndrome in Rowan Stringer, A 17-Year-Old Rugby Player

  • Charles Tator (a1), Jill Starkes (a2) (a3) (a4), Gillian Dolansky (a2) (a5), Julie Quet (a2) (a5), Jean Michaud (a2) (a5) and Michael Vassilyadi (a2) (a5)...

Abstract:

Second impact syndrome (SIS) is associated with malignant brain swelling and usually occurs in young athletes with one or more prior, recent concussions. SIS is rare and some dispute its existence. We report a case of SIS in Rowan Stringer, age 17, a rugby player who sustained a fatal brain injury despite prompt medical therapy including decompression surgery. The cause of the massive brain swelling was initially unknown. An inquest revealed Rowan’s text messages to friends describing symptoms from two prior, recent rugby brain injuries, likely concussions, within 5 days of the fatal blow and confirming the diagnosis of SIS.

Un cas de syndrome du second impact ayant entraîné le décès d’un joueur de rugby âgé de 17 ans. Le syndrome du second impact (SIS) est associé à une forme maligne d’enflure du cerveau. Il se produit habituellement chez de jeunes athlètes victimes d’une ou de plusieurs commotions cérébrales récentes. On estime qu’un tel syndrome est rare ; certains en contestent même l’existence. Nous voulons rapporter ici un cas de SIS ayant affecté un joueur de rugby âgé de 17 ans : Rowan Stringer. Stringer est décédé à la suite de lésions cérébrales, et ce, en dépit de soins médicaux rapides lui ayant été prodigués, notamment une chirurgie de décompression. La cause de l’enflure massive de son cerveau est demeurée initialement inconnue. Toutefois, une enquête a révélé qu’il avait envoyé des messages texte à ses amis cinq jours avant le coup mortel. Dans ces messages, il décrivait les symptômes de deux lésions cérébrales survenues récemment, probablement des commotions cérébrales. Le contenu de ces messages texte vient ainsi confirmer le diagnostic de SIS.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Charles Tator, Toronto Western Hospital, 399 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON, Canada. Email: charles.tator@uhn.ca

References

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Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
  • ISSN: 0317-1671
  • EISSN: 2057-0155
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-neurological-sciences
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