|What is a concussion?|
Concussion aka mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) - frequently defined as a head injury with a temporary loss of brain function (not necessarily a loss of consciousness). A concussion may cause a variety of physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms.
What causes a concussion?
Concussions (MTBI) occur due to rapid acceleration of the brain. Generally this occurs when someone is struck in the head, however, it can also occur if an athlete is struck in the chest, causing the head to snap forward or backwards.
What are some of the symptoms of a concussion?
Symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting and a sense of being out-of-it or feeling foggy. Most athletes fail to recognise their symptoms as a concussion. Parents may notice their child being slow to respond, off-balance or glassy-eyed. It's critical that patients are evaluated by a health care professional following a suspected concussion. It's crucial that a patient isn't cleared to return to play until normal brain function has returned since a second concussion without recovering from the first may be fatal.
What is the 'Second impact syndrome'?
Athletes who return to play prior to recovering from a concussion and sustain another concussion may experience raised Intracranial Pressure (swelling of the brain), paralysis and possible death.
What is baseline testing?
Baseline testing is a pre-season exam conducted by a trained health care professional. Baseline tests evaluate an athlete's balance and neurocognitive function. Results from baseline tests (pre-injury tests) may be used to compare to a similar exam conducted by a health care professional during the season if an athlete has a suspected concussion.
What is the benefit of baseline testing?
Baseline testing enables health care professionals to make informed decisions regarding safer return to play. Ultimately this may prevent the long term consequences of concussion including depression, parkinsonism, alzheimer's and suicide.
Who should administer and interpret baseline tests?
Baseline testing should be conducted and interpreted by a trained healthcare professional.
With what frequency should baseline testing be done?
With the ongoing development of the brain it is ideal to have baseline testing repeated annually.