A 16-year-old New Jersey high school football player is in critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage during a game in Bergen County.
Ryne Dougherty, a linebacker for the Montclair High School junior varsity team, collapsed Monday afternoon during a game against Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, nj.com reported.
It happened after the teenager tackled an opposing player. He collapsed, then stood up for a moment, before collapsing again on the field.
Dougherty was rushed to the Hackensack University Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage that required immediate surgery, according to a school district statement.
However, he did not sustain any above-the-neck contact with the other player – which could mean the teenager was suffering from a pre-existing condition.
“Non-traumatic head injuries that could lead to a brain hemorrhage are most likely associated with congenital variance of the blood vessels in the brain such as aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations, said Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing editor of health at FOXNews.com.
“These conditions are associated with a weakening of the arterial walls that could rupture spontaneously or in high degrees,” he added.
Arteriovenous malformations are defects of the circulatory system that are generally present at birth, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although AVMs can develop in many different sites, they are more common in the brain.
The greatest potential danger posed by AVMs is hemorrhage, the NIH said on its Web site.
"It’s unlikely that Ryne's condition would improve,” Montclair superintendent Frank Alvarez said in a statement. "This is a tragedy for our community, and we stand behind Ryne and his family," Alvarez added.
The incident marked the third devastating injury to a young football player in New Jersey this year. In August, a 13-year-old boy from Waldwick died after collapsing on the field — and just one day later a 17-year-old student at Cliffside Park High School collapsed after a routine tackle during practice. He died four days later.