Monday, August 22, 2011

Mike Patterson Back In Eagles Camp, Takes Risk In Playing With Brain Blood Vessel Anomaly

When last we saw Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, Mike Patterson, he was flat out on his back on the practice field after a seizure.  Rushed to the hospital where a battery of tests were performed, Patterson was diagnosed with AVM (atrioventricular malformation).

AVM is an issue with the blood vessels of his brain where the normal flow from artery to vein in one spot is actually a tangle of multiple smaller blood vessels. I explained in an earlier post why it could be very serious for Patterson and why he shouldn't play.

Well, Patterson is back in camp now and has decided to postpone surgery for the condition until after this season is over.  He will be taking anti-seizure medications to try and prevent another seizure episode from taking place on the field or anywhere else.

Is this a wise move?

Apparently, he's had multiple specialists tell him he can play and that, in their opinions, football apparently poses no risk to worsening his condition.  However, no one can explain to him why he had the seizure in the first place. It happened on the practice field; not lying in bed; not driving his car; not eating dinner.

I want to know how many NFL players with AVM these specialists have seen.  I would like to know if these specialists have treated patients with AVMs like Patterson's who have a career that results in them sustaining head trauma day after day.

In my earlier blog post, I stated my thoughts as to why Patterson should retire now.  AVMs can cause brain damage prior to (and after) being identified because of the abnormal blood flow in that particular area of the brain.  As a helmet-crushing defensive lineman, there's no doubt that Patterson has done some damage to his brain from the repeated trauma of the battle on the line of scrimmage.  Add into that the AVM, and that's a recipe for disaster down the line.

I really do hope he makes it through the season fine, but I'm just as worried for his long-term prospects.

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