Concussions In Athletes

How to Recognize Concussions and How to Treat Them

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that results in temporary loss of normal brain function, including alteration of mental status and change in levels of consciousness. Concussions are typically the result of a traumatic blow to the head, such as taking a hard tackle or a ball to the head, but they can be caused by many other things, like car accidents or falls.

Symptoms

The Three Main Symptoms Are:


  • Inability to maintain a coherent stream of thought
  • Disturbance of awareness and heightened distractibility
  • Inability to carry out goal-directed movements



Other Symptoms Include:


  • Prolonged headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Impaired balance
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Ringing ears
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Loss of smell or taste

Signs of a Concussion

  • Athlete loses consciousness
  • Athlete behaves differently
  • Athlete unsure of game, score, or position
  • Athlete forgets plays
  • Athlete appears dazed, stunned, or confused

What to Do On the Field

If an Athlete is Injured:


  • Remove the athlete from the area and have them lie down
  • Ask questions about the surroundings and the event of the injury
  • If a concussion is suspected, monitor the athlete until help arrives

Treatment and Prevention

After an Athlete has been Diagnosed with a Concussion:


  • Rest is needed
  • Daily monitoring is required
  • Tylenol is given for headaches



To Prevent Concussions:


  • Always have athletes wear safety equipment and head gear when playing contact sports
  • Perform regular safety checks of sports fields and equipment