Concussion Info

What is a Concussion?
Any head, face or jaw injury can result in a concussion and has the potential to be dangerous. A concussion is a brain injury which results in a temporary disruption of normal brain function. A concussion often results from a blow or jolt to the head, or from the head striking an object such as the ground or another athlete. The brain is suspended in fluid within the skull and can get “shaken” with a sudden force to the head (similar to shaking yolk in a raw eggshell), causing injury. Although less common, bleeding in the brain can occur with some head injuries. Loss of consciousness, mental status deterioration and worsening symptoms raise the concern for a bleeding injury. An athlete does not need to lose consciousness (black out) to suffer a concussion. In fact less than 10% of concussed athletes lose consciousness. The damage done to the brain is at a microscopic level: cells and cell membranes are stretched and torn. This damage leads to an abnormal movement of calcium, potassium, glutamate, and other substances in and out of the injured cells. These changes disrupt the normal function of the cells in the injured part of the brain. At the same time that these chemical changes are happening, the brain restricts blood flow to the damaged areas. Blood is the only source of fuel (glucose) for the brain. This is a problem, as the injured brain cells now have a limited supply of fuel, but an increased demand for fuel as they attempt to repair themselves. This mismatch of fuel supply and demand leads to further cell injury and dysfunction. It is thought that the disruption in the supply and demand of fuel is the key reason why people who have had a concussion are so susceptible to having symptoms worsen after an injury if they continue to be active and why there is a greater risk for further injury in the hours and days after a concussion.

Signs and Symptoms
The following are some signs or symptoms that may be present with someone who sustains a concussion... Headache or “pressure” in head, Nausea or vomiting, Balance problems or dizziness, Double or blurry vision, Bothered by light or noise, Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy,Difficulty paying attention, Memory problems,Confusion.

Second Imact Syndrome
Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) is a rare condition that occurs when an athlete receives a second head injury before complete recovery from a previous concussion has occurred. The brain loses its ability to regulate blood flow, which can lead to blood vessel engorgement and intracranial pressure. This can cause rapid respiratory failure, coma, permanent neurological injury and possible death. The second blow may be minor, but can still cause SIS if symptoms are still present from the previous concussion at the time of the second impact. Fortunately, SIS is rare. More commonly, athletes who have back-to-back concussions without allowing adequate recovery (typically failing to report the first concussion) suffer from headaches or other symptoms for weeks or months. This prolonged recovery can result in missed school and even an entire sports season due to the inability to concentrate in class or tolerate exercise.
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Return To Play Protocol
The student must be symptom free for a minimum of 48 hours before beginning this progression. They first will take a post- injury test from the impact software and have scores that are within normal limits to their baseline scores which are taken at the beginning of the season. The student will complete each level of the protocol and progress to the next only if they remain asymptomatic both at rest and with provocative exercise. There will be roughly 24 hours between each step of the RTP progression. Should the student become symptomatic during the progression, they will drop back to the previous asymptomatic level and try to progress after a 24 hour period of rest has passed. Each phase of the RTP will be administered and assessed by an ATC (certified athletic trainer).
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