Head Injuries Deserve Special At
Cerebral concussions are the most common form of head injury that occurs in sport, as well as the general population. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting in a series of biological events that may result in minor to severe neurological or psychological impairment.
The most common way a concussion occurs is from a direct blow, however, a fall without impact to the head may also result in brain injury. The consequences of a brain injury are the same whether they occur in an auto accident, on the football field or the balance beam.
Concussions are characterized by headache, dizziness, visual disturbance, hearing disturbance, memory problems, a loss of orientation and personality changes. One does not have to lose consciousness, in order to have a concussion. Any athlete who has lost consciousness should be treated as if they have a neck fracture, until cleared by a physician.
Regardless of the severity of the concussion, it is important that the athlete be cared for and evaluated by medical professionals. If there is a possibility that an athlete has received a concussion, the competitor should not be returned to action until cleared by a competent medical professional.
Improvements to head-gear equipment and neck braces have advanced dramatically in recent years. Athletes and their coaches and parents are encouraged to educate themselves about products that are now available.
It is important that individuals who have received a concussion be monitored overnight to protect against complications such as intra-cranial bleeding which could result in catastrophic outcome. Concussed individuals should return to see a physician if any of the following symptoms develop:
- dizziness or loss of balance
- severe headache or a headache lasting longer than 48-hours
- weakness or numbness in any extremity
- unusually stiff neck
- visual abnormality
- nausea and vomiting
- abnormal drowsiness
Medical professionals, parents, coaches and athletes must exercise caution about the decision to return to competition following even the mildest concussion. Athletes must have absolutely no symptoms prior to return. The final decisions concerning return to play should be made by medical professionals. Failure to exercise caution may result in death or have the detrimental effect of multiple concussions that may impair the activities of daily living.
For more information on concussions, or protective equipment including neck collars, call Trainer's Choice Sports Medicine Products at 800-706-9834, or visit our web site www.trainerschoice.ca