Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas
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Concussion 101

What is a concussion?

Trauma to the body causes rapid acceleration and/or deceleration of the head/brain

AND

Results in any typical symptoms, or any alteration in mental status, neurological functioning

AND

No evidence of a more severe Traumatic Brain Injury

  • May occur without a direct blow to the head
  • Often does not involve loss of consciousness (occurs 10% or less)
  • Relatively immediate onset of symptoms, but may evolve over several hours
  • Symptoms and signs worsen with physical or cognitive exertion; or overstimulation
  • Symptoms and signs should gradually improve with proper rest

Progressive worsening of symptoms/signs should prompt immediate evaluation for more severe Traumatic Brian Injury

RED FLAGS: Call your doctor or go to the emergency department with ANY of these symptoms!

  • Worsening headache
  • Very drowsy/can't be awakened
  • Can't recognize people or places
  • Unusual behavior change
  • Seizures
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Increasing confusion
  • Increasing irritability
  • Neck pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
  • Loss of consciousness

What To Do When A Concussion Is Suspected

  1. Remove from play: Any athlete who has one or more of these symptoms and is suspected of having a concussion must be removed from play and must not return to any practice or game on the same day.
  2. Evaluate athlete using On-Field Concussion Evaluation tool and monitor athlete for worsening symptoms every 5-15 minutes.
  3. DO NOT leave athlete alone or let athlete drive a motor vehicle.

NOTE: Even athletes with less than 15 minutes of on-field symptoms, can have brain impairment lasting up to one week.

DO NOT RETURN TO PLAY ON SAME DAY!

Concussion Center

Signs And Symptoms

Amnesia – can't recall events or details of the day; forgets plays

Confusion – unsure of game, score, opponent, date, etc…

Headache or "pressure" in head

Loss of consciousness

Balance problems or dizziness – moves clumsily; "spinning"

Double or fuzzy vision – saw "black", "stars"

Sensitivity to light or noise

Nausea or vomiting

Feeling sluggish or slowed down

Concentration or memory problems – feels "foggy" or groggy

Slowed reaction time – answers questions slowly

Feeling unusually irritable, over emotional (mood/behavior changes)

Does not "feel right", "feels weird"

A concussion can still be present without loss of consciousness

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