Concussion Care | Injury Care
An athlete who has experienced a head injury or concussion may have signs and symptoms that do not become apparent until hours after the initial traumatic event.
At the time of injury, hospitalization may not have been required. However, you should be alert for possible signs and symptoms in the athlete.
Seek medical attention immediately if you observe any changes of these symptoms:
HOME CARE FOR A HEAD INJURY OR CONCUSSION
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a disturbance in the function of the brain caused by a direct or indirect force to the head or body. It results in a variety of symptoms (like some listed below) and may, or may not, involve memory problems or loss of consciousness.
Go to the hospital immediately if any of these signs are visible:
What should I do?
Any athlete suspected of having a concussion should be removed from play for the remainder of the game and seek medical evaluation by a physician prior to returning to play.
The best guideline is to note symptoms that worsen and behaviors that seem to represent a change in your son or daughter. If you have any question or concern about the symptoms you are observing, contact your family physician for instructions, or seek medical attention at the closest emergency department.
A person with a concussion may:
There is no need to:
Lights Out on Electronics
The use of computers, TV and phone, including texting, can delay the brain's healing process. Restriction from using these items as well as avoidance of concerts and loud music may improve healing time. During the next few days, limit TV time and only non-violent programs.
The school administrators (principals, counselors and teachers) should be contacted and informed that the student athlete has sustained a concussion. Request "academic accommodation" such as excuse from classes and homework for a few days.
This should occur until the symptoms diminish. Please remind your child to check in with the school nurse prior to going to class on the first day he or she returns to school.
Your child should also follow up with the school's athletic trainer and should be restricted from participating until the symptoms resolve and a physician has cleared them to return to play. Return to play should be gradual and increase in stress over a period of a few days.
If signs or symptoms return with workouts, then restrict from exercise until the athlete is able to work out without symptoms returning.
Physicians recommend neurocognitive testing as a tool to determine safe return-to-play time lines. This online test is easily implemented in the office of a physician certified in ImPACT (www.impacttest.com). For help finding an ImPACT-credentialed physician and for more information about sports therapy, call the Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine program at 817-250-7500.
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Protect the athlete's body part from further injury by taping, bracing, splinting, or immobilizing.
Rest the injured area by discontinuing painful activity or exercise.
Ice the injured are with an ice bag or cold pack. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes every two hours. Continue this for 72 hours (three days), or until the swelling has diminished.
Compress the injured area with an elastic wrap from below the injured area towards the heart.
Elevate the injured area to a level above the heart.
Drinking plenty of fluids and ingesting extra salt will help the body and prevent heat illness. Eight, 8-ounce glasses of water daily is the best source. When sweating heavily, drink an electrolyte sports drink, and generously add salt to your food. Avoid fluids with high sugar content and carbonation.
Heat Cramps: First sign of heat illness
Heat Exhaustion: Profuse sweating, weakness, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, headache, excessive thirst, nausea, vomiting, and temperature less than 103
Heat Stroke: Hyperthermia, weak rapid pulse, confusion, delayed responses, irregular breathing patterns, and temperature greater than 105
Helpful Phone Numbers
Sports Massage Sports Therapy
This content is provided for information only and is not intended as medical advice. For advice about your specific medical condition, contact your physician.
Note: Physicians on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.
Source: www.impacttest.com, American Academy of Neurology, SCAT
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