What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a "mild" injury to the brain caused by rapid movement of the head so that the brain is slammed against the inside of its protective skull. This event interferes with the function of brain cells resulting in a change in a person's mental function. Your head does not need to strike anything for a concussion to occur, nor do you need to lose consciousness or suffer amnesia.
You do not have to be "knocked out" to have a concussion.
Are all concussions the same?
No. Many classifications of severity/grade of concussion exist. The grade of concussion is determined based on the presence of symptoms, their severity at the time of concussion and on repeated evaluation.
The grade of concussion does not determine the speed of recovery. Other factors such as a history of concussions may mean a longer recovery time.
Research shows that people who have received an initial concussion, are up to four times more likely to receive another concussion, than someone who has never had one.
What are the signs and symptoms of concussion?
If any one of the below symptoms is present, a concussion should be suspected. Symptoms can last days, weeks or in some cases longer.
Early signs of a concussion may include:
Late signs of a concussion may include:
Remember ... any grade of concussion has the potential to be a serious injury. Always consult a physician.
Recognizing concussion in sport...
Players who have suffered a concussion may minimize or deny symptoms in order to stay in the game. Having knowledge of the player's personality and an understanding of the signs and symptoms of concussion can prevent further injury, long-term damage or catastrophic outcome.
Post traumatic amnesia
If symptoms of concussion are detected, the person should not be allowed to return to the game. The person should be removed from play, closely watched and assessed by a physician. Close and repeated monitoring is very important; some symptoms may take a few minutes to appear.
No athlete should be returned to play until a doctor has cleared them, and they no longer have any symptoms at rest and under exertion.
"When in doubt ... sit them out."
Tips for recovery...
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