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Groin-Punch “Game” Harms More Boys

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Gerry Oginski
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“Childish Game Can Result in a Very Grown Up Condition”

            The old adage “boys will be boys” is taking on a new meaning.  A recent study indicates that teen boys are engaging in a game referred to as “sack-tapping” in which they slap or punch each other in the groin. Popularized by the television show “South Park,” this game can result in traumatic and permanent injury.

Trauma to the groin in young men can result in testicular torsion.  This condition involves the twisting of veins and arteries that carry blood to the testicles.  Testicular torsion can be treated early after its onset.  However, if left untreated, the condition can kill the testicle and require surgical removal.  I recently represented a young boy who had testicular torsion where doctors in an emergency room failed to timely recognize that his testicle was twisted and dying. I even created a video to help people understand what testicular torsion is. You can see the video here.

Even though testicular trauma can result in such a serious condition, “sac-tapping” has only become increasingly prevalent.  The number of pubic region injuries in boys 10-20 has increased 63% over just the last two years.  Further, 30% of doctors have indicated that they have seen “sack-tapping” injuries in the last year.

            Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of the condition is that many children are getting it as a result of the increasingly popular “sack-tapping” game.  As if young boys are not already reluctant to talk about their genitalia, these children are often the victims of bullying and therefore even more reluctant to come forward. Making the issue worse is how this behavior is minimized through language and popular media. Calling it a “game” can be used as a guise for bullying.  Despite giving the behavior playful names or popularizing it through TV, it can lead to serious and permanent damage.  Doctors have stressed that the behavior simply cannot be tolerated. 

            Parents have begun to look to school officials to help prevent this behavior.  Some have even suggested that laws should be passed placing an onus on schools to prevent it from happening. While doctors and public surveys make communities aware of the problem, school officials have yet to do anything to prevent it.  School administrators are the closest to the issue and therefore in the best position to thwart this behavior.  Once school officials become aware of the issue within their schools, there is no reason that they should not be held accountable for children who become injured from these harmful acts.

            “Sack-taping” is not just a game; it is a serious problem that leads to serious injuries.  Something needs to be done to prevent it from happening and the indication is that schools need to start taking on responsibility.

To read actual deposition testimony of a doctor in a testicular torsion case I handled click on the link below. Actual testimony by a surgeon in a failure to timely recognize and treat testicular torsion resulting in death of the testicle

Category: General

Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer

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