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CONCUSSION INFORMATION SHEET AND PROTOCOL


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WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by either a direct or indirect blow to the head.  If undetected, a concussion can lead to more serious brain injuries. Therefore, it is important that those involved in all sport are educated and aware of the signs and symptoms, and know what to do in the case that an athlete suffers a concussion.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?

There are many signs and symptoms of a concussion. They may exist individually or in any combination and include, but are not limited to;

• Confusion
• Headache
• Pressure in the head
• Difficulty concentrating
• Difficulty remembering
• Drowsiness
• Neck pain
• Dizziness
• Blurred vision
• Balance problems
• Slurred speech
• Short attention span
• Sensitivity to light and/or noise

• Feeling as though “in a fog”
• Not feeling “right”
• Fatigue/low energy
• Trouble sleeping
• Mood swings
• Irritability
• Sadness or depression
• Nervousness or anxiety
• Loss of consciousness
• Coma
• Paralysis
• Epilepsy
• Feeling slowed down

WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN IF A CONCUSSION IS SUSPECTED?

First, the athlete must not return to play after the incident.  If a concussion is suspected, it is best to get clearance from a medical professional before returning to play.

The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (the SCAT 2), can be used to assess an athlete’s state should a concussion be suspected.  This tool involves asking questions, and having the athlete perform simple tasks. This tool is available at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport website (below), as well as on other sites.

Although the SCAT 2 is a good option for on-field assessment, it is still recommended that the athlete seek a medical professional’s opinion to avoid any further brain damage, as already mentioned.

 

RESOURCES

Coaching Association of Canada, Concussion Awareness -http://www.coach.ca/concussion-awareness-s16361

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport – http://www.cces.ca/en/activeandsafe

SCAT 2 - http://www.cces.ca/files/pdfs/SCAT2[1].pdf

Parachute Canada - http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/topic/C9

Understanding Brain Injury in Adolescence -http://nccp.baseball.ca/pdfs/adult_guide_download_version-low_res%20-%20July%202012.pdf

 

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