A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a bump or blow to the head. It can be serious, even if you've just been "dinged." Knowing the symptoms of a concussion and steps for prevention can help you stay off the bench and in the game.
Our concussion management team offers athletes, parents, coaches and educators information on concussion awareness and prevention. To help us determine when an athlete can safely return to play, we use tests that include ImPACT®, the most widely used computerized concussion evaluation tool.
ImPACT, immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing, is a computerized concussion evaluation tool. It is used to help provide useful information to practitioners, helping them determine if a patient can return to play following a concussion. The test measures:
- Attention span
- Working memory
- Sustained and selective attention time
- Response variability
- Non-verbal problem solving
- Reaction time
ImPACT also offers baseline testing that can provide valuable information for recovery. Baseline testing is done before a concussion so individuals can be compared to their condition after an injury. The information is crucial for making return-to-play decisions.
If you think you have a concussion, follow these steps:
- Tell your coaches and your parents
- Get a medical check up
- Give yourself time to get better
A concussion needs time to heal. Management differs depending on the level of severity. These steps may be included:
- Rest your min
- Prevent reinjury
- Ask a responsible adult to observe you
- Do not take medicines without your doctor's permission
- Eat nutritious foods, and drink plenty of water
- Rest your body
- Consult with physician specialists
Research suggests that those who are not fully recovered from a concussion are significantly vulnerable for recurrent, cumulative and even catastrophic consequences of a second concussion. The best way to manage a concussion is to seek medical care promptly by a trained concussion medical specialist.
Every sport is different, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Follow your coach's rules for safety and the rules of the sport
- Practice good sportsmanship at all times
- Use the proper sports equipment, including personal protective equipment. In order for equipment to protect you, it must be the right equipment for the game, position or activity
- Worn correctly and fit well
- Used every time you play