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What You Should Know About a Concussion by Schnikia Pool

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Concussions are a serious brain injury. They occur commonly in sports injuries when there is a jolt, bump, or blow to the head. It can be followed by a ringing in the ears or blurred vision. The patient could also lose consciousness or have amnesia. Concussions also occur from a fall where the head and brain move too quickly creating a traumatic brain injury. When left untreated the injury can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. In most cases, concussions are not life-threatening, but care needs to be taken immediately after the incident. Concussed patients can recover quickly but will find that when there has been a concussion in the past it will take longer to recover. Most patients take about a week to heal but it can turn into weeks to recover fully. Longer if the patient has been concussed before. Long-term effects of concussions include depression, suicide (in some athletes), and even chronic brain damage.

Some symptoms of a concussion vary between four categories; remembering, physical, emotional, and sleep. If the patient has difficulty thinking clearly, headache, blurry visions, and/or irritability, action needs to be taken immediately. Symptoms can vary between nausea, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. If at all there is a possibility of head injury, the patient needs to be taken to the nearest hospital.

In the rare case (for adults) that a blood clot may form in the brain of the person concussed it can be very life-threatening. In these dangerous cases, the patient has slurred speech, seizures, lose consciousness, and cannot be awakened. Your healthcare physician and emergency department need to be contacted right away. In the rare case (for a child) if they share the same symptoms above. Cannot nurse or eat and cannot be consoled in response to a blow or jolt to the head. They need to be taken to a healthcare facility right away.

Prevention actions for athletes and concussions can be preseason and during the season. Knowledge is the key. The athletes need to have the right equipment and administer the right treatment to ensure the equipment works right. Parents need to know the signs and when to seek treatment for the athlete. Coaches need to teach safe playing techniques. The athlete cannot convince those around them that they are “fine”. They need to be knowledgeable about the risks of playing injured. And if the athlete shows signs or symptoms of having a concussion then care needs to be taken to ensure the athlete’s health and overall well-being.

The NCAA has stepped up in helping and preventing concussions in athletes. Between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities. Many concussions go unnoticed because athletes don’t report the injury or don’t report enough. By athletes withholding information, it puts them at grave risk. Educating athletes, parents, and coaches will help a lot more than trying to “tough it out”. Athletes are the sole source of preventing the deaths that occur because of this injury.

If there are more questions and concerns organizations like Heads Up are great for outreach and learning more about this subject.



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