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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
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Sunday, April 18, 2010
Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports
Jack has spoken out about concussion (now recognized as a type of traumatic brain injury) in high school sports for years. Long before concussions were taken as seriously as they are today, Jack worried about the risk to young athletes, who are also vulnerable to multiple concussions. Jack initiated and has for years supported neuropsychological evaluations for football players at his prep school, Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA. (The school has since started scanning athletes in all sports.) He believes that having a baseline evaluation is important for more readily diagnosing brain injury after sports-related accidents.
According to The Brain Injury Resource Center
the risk for catastrophic effects from successive seemingly mild concussions sustained within a short period is not yet widely recognized. Second Impact Syndrome results from acute, usually fatal, brain swelling that occurs when a second concussion is sustained before complete recovery from a previous concussion that causes vascular congestion and increased intracranial pressure, which may be difficult or impossible to control.Neurologists say once a person suffers a concussion, he is as much as four times more likely to sustain a second one. Moreover, after several concussions, it takes less of a blow to cause the injury and requires more time to recover.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)has developed a tool kit called Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports.
The kit contains information for coaches, athletes and parents. Definitely worth checking out if you have a teen involved in contact sports. (Sports-related concussions can occur before you child reaches high school. The CDC also has a kit geared toward youth sports called Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports).
But as informative as these kits are, you should always heed this advice from the CDC: If you think your athlete has sustained a concussion…don’t assess it yourself. Take him/her out of play, and seek the advice of a health care professional.
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