An acceleration blow occurs when a stationary head is struck by an accelerating punch. A rotary blow is probably the most serious type of acceleration blow. It occurs when the head is struck, usually with a hook punch, which causes it to quickly rotate to the side, compress the carotid arteries on either side of the neck, and cutoff blood to the brain. Another type of acceleration blow is an uppercut to the chin, which causes the head to snap backward cutting off circulation to the back of the brain. A deceleration blow occurs when a fast moving object (the head) strikes a stationary object (the floor). A deceleration blow may also occur when one fighter’s head hits the other fighter’s head with great force.
In a blow to the front of the head, the skull is accelerated backward so quickly that the brain cannot keep u. After the skull stops moving, the brain catches up, crashes into the bony skull, and its back portions are injured. In a blow to the back of the head, the same movement takes place but the resulting injury is to the front portion of the brain, especially at the tips of the frontal and temporal lobes.
If fighter does not go down, or even worse gets up without having his “legs under him,” it increases the fighter’s susceptibility to subsequent punches that may result in a knockout or even permanent injury.
One way to revive a fallen or dazed fighter is to wave smelling salts under the nose. The salts are composed of ammonium carbonate and a perfume to create a fast-acting stimulant that triggers the inhalation reflex. The fumes are absorbed by the mucus membrane in the nose and in the lungs, which triggers the muscles that control breathing to work faster, forcing more oxygen into the fighter’s system and quickening the awakening. Although the salts may bring a fighter back to alertness, they may mask serious symptoms.