Handheld Scanners Could Save Boxers’ Lives

Posted on 24 Oct 2016 by Julian House
After the death of Scotland’s Mike Towell, there has been a lot of talk surrounding the safety of boxing. There could soon be a new device added to the sport of boxing, with the introduction of a scanner.  

The recent tragedy has highlighted some of the risks that are taken when a fighter enters the ring. It’s not the first time that the sport has come into disrepute, as many reacted to another devastating event earlier this year. Nick Blackwell was in a coma for over a week, and doctor’s saved his life by drilling a hole into his skull to relieve pressure.



How Does it Work?


This innovative invention could be a lifesaver; the scanner indicates a bleed to a doctor. It is not unheard of for some fighters to do up to 100 rounds of sparring in the lead up to a big fight. With so many punches exchanged, there can sometimes be a problem or injury that goes unnoticed. It has now been revealed that Nick Blackwell’s injury to his brain was sustained before the Chris Eubank Jr bout and after taking punishment during the title fight, he collapsed moments after it had been stopped. The handheld scanner could have prevented this and Blackwell could still be boxing today if the sport had seen the emergence of these devices sooner.



Doctors and medical staff could use these gadgets as part of their assessment arsenal. Since Chris Eubank senior and Michael Watson fought in 1991, the British Board of Control have undergone a number of changes and precautions. But if they made this new device a part of their medical assessment, then they could halt a fight before it begins. If a bleed was found before the fight, they could treat the boxer and save them minutes, hours or days and subsequently save their life. The earlier a bleed is discovered, the better, and this could be the difference between life and death. It’s not uncommon for boxers to shred kilograms of weight in their last few days before a fight, and this can make their brains more susceptible to damage. This is already another element of the issue that has been addressed by the boxing board who have already took action against Frankie Gavin who was going to attempt to lose 6lbs the day before his fight.


The Science

The infrascanner shines a laser 3.5cm into the head. If the light passes through blood, less if it reflects back to a detector. It only takes minutes to hold the scanner at three different points on the scalp. These tactics have been experimented with for years and not just for boxing either. There have been similar devices that indicate how likely a rugby player is to experience concussion. But this could be another scanner used for rugby, American football and other sports. The Russian boxing Olympic team already used these infrascanners before Rio 2016.


How Dangerous is Boxing?

Whenever a discussion like this reaches the media, it often sparks a heated debate between those that feel the sport should be banned and those against that notion. Both boxers recognise the risk and since new rules have came into boxing it has made it a much safer sport. A huge problem that is often overlooked by outsiders is the issue of dehydrating to make the weight. All weight-making sports provide a similar problem, as competitors try to weigh as little as physically possible. But when taking punches to the head, this can directly affect the brain and in result, leave catastrophic injuries.

Believe it or not, boxing is the most unforgiving sport. Although it poses the obvious risks to health, the most common for deaths is actually fishing, horse back riding and American football is known for many long-lasting brain traumas.



Safety in Sport

These facts and figures shouldn’t make us reluctant to compete and engage in our hobbies, but it is a reason to ensure ultimate safety during sport. Boxing isn’t the only sport that requires monitoring; there are many injuries that become part and parcel. If you are looking to play football, involve yourself in boxing, play rugby or other sports, then get the kit you need. You can ensure that you keep your legs safe and also get your hands on headguards for training. Headguards can be used for boxing and rugby, whilst you can also get your hands on shin pads, knee pads, helmets, gum shields and other protective equipment. Ensure complete protection before taking part in your favourite sports with the chance to get hold of all the essentials you need, using Sports Direct promo codes, ActivInstinct discount codes and Argos promotional codes. It will be interesting to see if some of the latest safety precautions will soon be utilised in the sporting sphere and how it could positively impact participants’’ lives.



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