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The Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission enhances the lives of Georgians with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Guided by the aspirations of people with traumatic injuries, the Commission supports lives of meaning and independence.

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What are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion.

Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:

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Some of these symptoms may appear right away, while others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday life and more demands are placed upon them. Sometimes, people do not recognize or admit that they are having problems. Others may not understand why they are having problems and what their problems really are, which can make them nervous and upset.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the person with the concussion, family members, or doctors. People may look fine even though they are acting or feeling differently.
When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention:

Danger Signs in Adults
In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in a person with a concussion and crowd the brain against the skull. Contact your health care professional or emergency department right away if you have any of the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body:
Headache that gets worse and does not go away.
Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
Repeated vomiting or nausea.
Slurred speech.

The people checking on you should take you to an emergency department right away if you:

Look very drowsy or cannot be awakened.
Have one pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) larger than the other.
Have convulsions or seizures.
Cannot recognize people or places.
Are getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated.
Have unusual behavior.
Lose consciousness (a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously and the person should be carefully monitored).

Danger Signs in Children
Take your child to the emergency department right away if they received a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, and:
Have any of the danger signs for adults listed above.
Will not stop crying and cannot be consoled.
Will not nurse or eat.

Concussion in Sports

What Should I do If a Concussion Occurs?
If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, implement your 4-step action plan:

1. Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs and symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced a bump or blow to the head or body. When in doubt, keep the athlete out of play.

2. Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Health care professionals have a number of methods that they can use to assess the severity of concussions. As a coach, recording the following information can help health care professionals in assessing the athlete after the injury:

o Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to the head or body
o Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and if so, for how long
o Any memory loss immediately following the injury
o Any seizures immediately following the injury
o Number of previous concussions (if any)

3. Inform the athlete's parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion. Make sure they know that the athlete should be seen by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.

4. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free and it's OK to return to play. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first-usually within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)-can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and even death.

More information is available at:

www.bsitf.state.ga.us

www.cdc.gov/concussion

www.braininjurygeorgia.org


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