One Punch Can Kill: Charity founder Ann Bartlett speaks out

Sadly, her 21-year-old son, Kyle, died after a one-night altercation in 2009 from injuries sustained from a single blow to the head.

While there is extensive media coverage of knife injuries and deaths, there may be far less awareness of the seriousness of hitting someone.

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According to the charity above, there have been around eighty deaths in the UK since 2007 as a result of fighting involving a single blow.

While this may not seem like a lot, it means at least eighty lives were ended prematurely and the lives of loved ones, the attacker and their family were also ruined.

Although the damage caused by a blade penetrating the human body is easy to understand, the damage caused by a blow to the face, head, or any part of the body may not be so obvious.

However, consider that the average force of a single punch from an Olympic boxer is enough to break a house brick.

While many shots won’t be of this magnitude, some may not be far off.

Death from a single blow to the head commonly occurs in three ways.

First, the force of the blow itself can be enough to cause significant bleeding in the brain by directly damaging the blood vessels in the head.

Second, the shock from the blow can stop breathing and deprive the brain of vital oxygen.

Eventually, the blow can destabilize the recipient, causing them to lose balance and fall, often hitting their head on the ground.

Usually this surface is hard and unyielding. Studies show that this fall is equivalent to hitting the head with a concrete block.

And then it’s over. Forever.

While some countries like Australia have responded by installing soft flooring inside and outside nightclubs, it is equally important to address why some people resort to violence in the first place.

Often these disputes are accidental. They may be dealing with a small, irrelevant dispute.

They happened where both parties had never met before. Sadly, in some cases, best friends have died as a result of being hit by someone they considered their loved one.

Violence can be a physical expression of unresolved anger issues. But we also live in a society where it is still glorified in certain aspects of the media.

Only these films are fictional, the scenes are portrayed by highly skilled people. The punches aren’t real.

Everyone goes home at the end of the day in the same state they arrived in the morning. Nobody gets hurt, nobody dies.

Even if a head injury does not result in immediate death, the affected person is still at risk.

With a strong blow, the brain hits the front of the skull first, and then the back. This concussion of the brain can result in a concussion that can take several weeks to heal.

These weeks can bring headaches, tears, anxiety, and even flashbacks to the first attack.

If you are with someone who has been hit but not knocked unconscious, please take them and you to a safe place. Don’t react. If a first blow doesn’t kill, a second might do the trick.

After a serious head injury, it’s important to see a doctor even if the person seems fine.

Red flags for immediate medical attention are unconsciousness followed by confusion. Clear fluid leaking from the ears or nostrils may be due to a fractured skull.

Slurred speech or an inability to walk properly should not be ignored or simply attributed to alcohol.

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Many head injuries are treated conservatively. This means that if the doctor treating you is satisfied that nothing serious has happened, you will be sent home with instructions for a close friend or relative to observe you for 24 hours.

If you experience any of the symptoms or signs listed in the previous paragraph, your friend must take you back to the local accident and emergency department immediately.

In closing, to reiterate Ann Bartlett’s sentiments, I can offer no better advice than that from a person who knows all too well the pain and devastation that a single blow can cause. “Be a hero and avoid a fight.” One Punch Can Kill: Charity founder Ann Bartlett speaks out

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