Concussion Management - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Concussion Management

Concussion is a jarring, potentially serious brain injury caused by a bump on or blow to the head. It can happen as a result of a fall, orthopedic injuries to the head or neck, athletic injuries or any other type of head trauma. The person does not have to lose consciousness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, emergency department visits for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents increased by 60% during the past decade. For this reason, recognition, diagnosis, management, and education are critical for helping young athletes with suspected concussion fully recover.

When to Seek Medical Help

Seek medical help if you or someone you know has three or more of the following symptoms develop after a blow to the head:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Concentration Problems
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Memory Problems
  • Blurred Vision
  • Headache
  • Mood Swings
  • Depression
  • Sleep Problems

Crozer-Keystone’s Team Can Help

Crozer-Keystone offers specialized care from a team of experts trained in the detection and treatment of traumatic and sports concussion. Not all concussions are the same, so you may receive treatment from experts in one or more of the following specialties:

  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Pathology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neurology
  • Sports Medicine

Our goal is to get patients back to their highest possible level of function.

Frequently Asked Questions for Sports-related Concussions

What are signs and symptoms of a concussion caused by a sports injury?

Sometimes, concussion symptoms are present right away. However, it could take days or even weeks after the injury for symptoms to show up. The key is to observe your child; if you see or they report any of the signs or symptoms listed below, seek medical attention right away.

Signs that can be observed by a parent or guardian (following a bump or blow to the head): 

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about an assignment or position
  • Forgets an instruction
  • Is unsure of the game, score or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to the hit or fall
  • Can’t recall events after the hit or fall 

Symptoms reported by the athlete: 

  • Headache or “pressure” in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Does not “feel right”

Reprinted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Most people have symptoms that resolve within a week, but they can last as little as a few minutes to as long as a year or more.

What should you do if you think your child has a concussion?

Seek medical attention right away. A physician who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussion can determine how serious the injury is, what steps need to be taken, and when your child can return to play.

If my child participates in sports, should he or she have baseline testing? If so, why? What is post-concussion testing?

Every child who participates in organized sports should have preseason baseline testing done, including:

  • A physical evaluation by a sports medicine physician, including a detailed medical history.
  • ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) neuropsychological testing. ImPACT is a computerized system that is used to evaluate and manage sports concussions. Specially trained staff use the tool to measure a player’s symptoms, verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time.
  • Baseline preseason ImPACT testing can be used for return to play should the athlete sustain a concussion.

Should your child experience a concussion, our specialists will perform a complete examination, including ImPACT testing to help guide safe return-to-play decisions.

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