Rushville Republican

Health

June 3, 2014

Is it a concussion?

NEW CASTLE - There are special tests health care professionals can do to determine if a concussion is present. With the help of Certified Athletic Trainers who work closely with the schools, physicians and certified physician assistants, someone who is believed to have a concussion can be thoroughly evaluated and returned to participation at the appropriate time.

Concussions are a lot more common than you might think and take time and plenty of rest for healing. A concussion is an injury to your brain as a result from an impact to the head that can occur with sports, falls, car accidents, etc.

Your brain is a soft organ that is protected by the skull and is surrounded by fluid (which acts as a cushion to the brain). Concussions are not life-threatening; however they can cause both short-term and / or long-term complications.

A concussion does not cause bleeding, but can result in loss of consciousness (LOC). Mild concussions can cause no loss of consciousness when the individual may feel “dazed” or a brief LOC (described as being “knocked out”). More severe concussions can result in longer LOC and these often cause a delay in the return to the individual’s normal state.

Concussions can occur with any sport but are more common in contact sports. They can range from mild to severe and should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional before the athlete returns to play. Concussion symptoms can vary lasting hours, days, weeks or even months.

Symptoms may include any of the following:

• Loss of consciousness

• Headache

• Balance problems

• Difficulty concentration / not thinking clearly

• More emotional (feeling sad or easily upset)

• Blurred vision

• Changes in appetite

• Confusion

• Dizziness

• Sensitivity to light

• Difficulty sleeping

• Nausea and/or vomiting

• Short term or long term memory loss

• Changes in behavior or mood

If you suspect your child has had a concussion as a result of a head injury, we encourage you to contact your child’s medical doctor or coach as soon as possible for prompt evaluation and treatment.

Information provided by Henry County Hospital.

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