Lucas Gabriel Peres died last weekend after suffering head injuries in an MMA fight in Brazil. He was 22-years-old.
According to The Sun Peres fought on September 11 in the southern region of Maringa. After the fight he complained of headaches and, after he returned home from the fight, concerned family members took him to a hospital.
Peres’ condition then worsened and he was transferred to a different hospital, where he eventually passed away. His death certificate states the cause of death was a head injury.
The account of Peres’ death is consistent with what happens when a fighter suffers a brain bleed, also known as a cerebral hemorrhage or an intracranial hematoma.
Blows to the head can cause the brain to violently shift forwards-and-backwards or side-to-side within the skull, a process known as linear acceleration. If the brain collides with the inside of the skull with enough force it can cause blood vessels to break. When the brain bleeds there is nowhere for the blood to go, so it often pools in one place creating pressure against the brain. Without immediate medical intervention the pressure can build to a point where fatal damage is caused.
Sadly, many individuals suffering from brain bleeds are unaware of the severity of their condition until it is too late. Symptoms of brain bleeds, which include headaches, nausea and mental fog, often do not occur until some time after the initial injury has been caused. Many fighters have experienced lucid intervals after fights where they give post-fight interviews, return to their locker rooms or even get home before they start to feel unwell.
Technology does exist that is designed to detect brain bleeds immediately after they have occurred. The infrascanner, a handheld device that measures blood flow in the brain, is used by some commissions who oversee boxing and MMA.