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Concussion Management Program

All concussions are serious regardless of the cause whether as a result of community sports, interscholastic sports or physical education classes at school. Although 80% to 90% of concussions resolve in 7 to 10 days, the symptoms may last far longer. And in the case of children or adolescents, recovery time can be longer than the recovery time for an adult. If there is a history of concussion there is at greater risk for having another head injury, and a risk for suffering a second concussion 10 days after the initial injury.

That is why it is so important to contact a Summa sports health care professional or emergency department as soon as possible if a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body has occurred, particularly if there are any signs or symptoms of concussion.

Concussion may present itself in many ways through a variety signs and symptoms; any of the following may indicate a concussion is present:

Physical signs:

  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Balance problems
  • Dizziness
  • Visual problems (double/blurred)
  • Loss of consciousness (< 10% of cases)
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling dazed/stunned
  • Numbness/tingling sensation

Cognitive signs:

  • Feeling mentally foggy
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Forgetting recent information
  • Forgetting recent conversations
  • Confusion regarding events
  • Answering questions slowly
  • Repeating questions

Emotional signs:

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • More emotional than normal
  • Nervousness

Sleep effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Difficulty falling asleep

It is imperative if a concussion is suspected that medical treatment is administered as soon as possible to prevent further damage or injury to the head, brain or nervous system. A few after effects of concussion can include learning problems; concentration issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); an increased incidence of depression and frequent headaches.

In some cases, post-concussion syndrome may develop. A few signs that a concussion patient may have post-concussion syndrome may include:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of memory/concentration
  • Noise & light sensitivity lasting weeks/months

Second Impact Syndrome. This may occur following a second head injury in a patient who has not fully recovered from a previous head injury. The final result can be brain damage and sometimes death.

When is a concussion an emergency?

Some signs that may indicate a concussion is a more urgent situation and professional treatment is needed immediately, may include:

  • Athlete complains of neck pain
  • Increasing focusing/rituality
  • Vomiting more than twice
  • Seizure-like movements or convulsions
  • Weakness tingling or buidng in the arms or legs
  • Deteriorating consciousness or a loss of consciousness
  • Severe or worsening headache
  • Unusual behavior changes
  • Double vision; unequal pupil size

NOTE: If any of these signs are observed, call 911 immediately and have the concussion patient transferred to an emergency room.

For more information on concussion or to schedule an appointment with a Summa sports health professional for post-concussion treatment, please call (888) 778-6627.