The goal of the KDH Sports Concussion Management Program is to promote safety and awareness of sports-related concussions. For more information, read below or call the KDH Rehab Center at 812-801-0545 or Madison Pediatrics at 812-273-5437.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a disturbance in brain function that occurs following either a blow to the head or neck. It happens when an athlete's brain is violently rocked back and forth inside the skull.
How common are concussions?
According to impacttest.com, as many as 300,000 sports-related concussions may occur each year in the United States. The majority occur in contact sports such as football and soccer. However, participants in any sporting or athletic activity may be at risk for a concussion. The reality is many concussions often go undiagnosed and untreated because signs and symptoms vary from athlete to athlete. Not all concussion symptoms are easy to identify.
How dangerous are concussions?
Fortunately, most athletes fully recover from a concussion when given adequate time to heal. As each concussion is different, the length of time needed to recover will vary by athlete. Returning an athlete to action too soon increases the athlete's risk for a second (repeat) concussion - which could cause permanent brain injury or even death.
Common signs and symptoms of a concussion ...
Depending on the nature of the injury, concussion symptoms may range from very mild to severe.
MOST athletes who sustain a concussion DO NOT LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS.
Signs / Symptoms often observed ...
- Appears to be dazed or stunned
- Is confused about assignment
- Forgets plays
- Unsure of game, score, or opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness (even briefly)
- Shows behavior or personality changes
- Forgets events prior to the impact
- Forgets events after the impact
Signs / Symptoms reported by the athlete ...
- Nausea (upset stomach)
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or fuzzy vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish
- Feeling "foggy"
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Concentration or memory problems
Monitoring an athlete:
If an athlete suffers a blow to the head or neck during practice, competition, or other event, parents and coaches should monitor the athlete for any signs or symptoms of concussion. Symptoms may not be immediately apparent. If symptoms are present, contact your physician immediately. An athlete SHOULD NOT return to athletic activities until cleared by a physician.
What is ImPACT?
ImPACT is user-friendly software that provides a sports medicine physician/clinician with detailed information that helps take the guesswork out of concussion management and return-to-play decisions. Using a variety of scientifically-validated neurocognitive tests of memory, reaction time, and processing speed, ImPACT provides specific information about the severity of injury and a standard for evaluating recovery from injury.
For more specific information, visit www.impacttest.com.
Why do we use ImPACT?
The ImPACT approach has been found to be extremely sensitive and one of the most useful methods for determining when an athlete has recovered sufficiently in order to safely return to athletic competition. One of the key factors in determining an athlete's recovery curve is to compare the athlete's post-concussive performance and symptoms to their baseline (pre-concussion) levels. This is the best method for evaluating individual differences, and why we recommend that athletes complete their baseline ImPACT exam prior to competition.
We work with schools: KDH Rehab Sports Medicine and Madison Pediatrics coordinate with area schools to provide ImPACT testing for athletes.
How can I find out more about ImPACT testing?
Call the KDH Rehab Center at 812-801-0545 or Madison Pediatrics at 812-273-5437 (273-KIDS). You can also visit www.impacttest.com.