The Sports Injury Concussion

A concussion is something that can occur when playing a contact sport. It is an injury to the brain. The injury causes immediate impairment to neurological functions. There are various types and duration of symptoms associated with having a concussion.

A blow to the head is usually what causes a concussion. When the head is struck by an object the force is absorbed by the brain tissue. The pathways that send messages from the brain to the body can be interrupted during a concussion.

There are several signs of a concussion that include loss of consciousness, and also confusion, which is the most common symptom of a concussion. Other symptoms of a concussion are disorientation, headache, posttraumatic amnesia, and also retrograde amnesia. The individual with a concussion may also suffer nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances such as blurred vision or double vision, dizziness, slurred speech and also may experience some drowsiness.

Concussions are graded in order to determine the severity. There are three grades of concussion. Grade I is when the head injury results in a mild concussion. There may be some confusion, but the memory is intact regarding the trauma. Grade II is considered to be a moderate concussion in which confusion exists and difficulty recalling the traumatic event, but there was no loss of consciousness involved during the injury. Grade III is severe concussion in which loss of consciousness and on memory of the trauma is present.

Special tests such as CAT scan, can be performed when three is loss of consciousness for more than 5 seconds, is there is a possibility of skull fracture, or if there is evidence of some neurological deficit.

If a sports player presents with a head injury, which is then followed by a “lucid interval”, followed by loss of consciousness or a worsening of the neurological state, diagnostic imaging is indicated. Another reason for doing a CAT scan would be if the sports player’s condition should worsen.

Anyone suffering a concussion should be evaluated for a period of 24 to 24 hours usually as an in-patient observation.

Typically a sports player can participate in practices and games if they have a Grade I concussion after 15 minutes of no symptoms; after one week for Grade II concussions, and Grade III concussions involve emergency treatment and hospitalization so return to the sport will be decided by the doctor caring for the athlete.

If a player sustains multiple concussions no matter what the grade they should be removed from play and evaluated before allowing to play again. All athletes, team doctors and coaches must be willing to error on the side of safety when it comes to the health of players.

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