Concussions: Prevention (Part 3 of 4)

This is the third post in a four-part blog series on concussions. Concussion prevention is incredibly important, including how to reduce the likelihood of a head injury, as well as educating young athletes on how to prevent their symptoms from getting worse after having had a concussion.

Preventing concussions (or lessening the likelihood of a severe concussion) comes down to a few important things including wearing the right equipment (such as a proper fitting helmet), strengthening the muscles in your neck, proper technique in your sport and avoiding as many hits as possible. This advice comes from Robert C. Cantu, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery Service at Emerson Hospital and the Senior Advisor of the Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Additionally, baseline testing is a great preventative measure that happens at the beginning of a sports’ season, whereby the “normal” cognitive functioning of an athlete is tested to be used as a baseline if a head injury should occur during the season. This type of testing gives medical professionals a strong starting point to understanding the level of severity of the head injury.

Additionally, wearing the right equipment that is the proper fit is another measure that can reduce the likelihood of a serious head injury, although it cannot safeguard against it all together.

Click here to watch a video (4 minutes) about the way in which some trainers are working to prevent concussions and understand what’s “normal” for their athletes through preventative baseline testing.

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With regards to preventing further injury after a concussion, it is critical that athletes don’t try to hide or “play through” their symptoms because this can worsen the symptoms and long-term effects. Staying off the field until the athlete has fully recovered (as determined by a medical professional), can be difficult for an athlete in the short-term, but is undeniably necessary for their long-term health.

Check back next week for part 4, exploring how concussion affect victims in the long-run, as well as additional concussion education resources.

 

As always, be calm, be confident and think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your concussion education and lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, on-the-field or in-office session today!

Concussions: Symptoms and Treatment (Part 2 of 4)

This is the second post in a four-part blog series about concussions. This week we’re looking at how concussions happen, signs and symptoms, as well as how to treat them.

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As we explored last week, concussions happen when there is a jolt or bump to the head. For an athlete, this can happen when there is a change in momentum; where a player was moving quickly and was stopped suddenly by another player. It can also happen when a piece of sporting equipment collides with the head. No matter how a concussion happens, it is critical for parents, teachers, coaches and athletes to recognize a potential concussion and treat it correctly. The signs and symptoms below are from the CDC Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) awareness website.

Signs Observed by Others:

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

Symptoms Felt by the Athlete:

  • Headache or “pressure” in 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” or is “feeling down”

IMPORTANT: Remember that these signs and symptoms don’t necessarily happen right away and can progress in the minutes, hours and days following a concussion.

First Aid Treatment:

  1. If a concussion is suspected, call 911 or drive to seek immediate medical attention
  2. Continuously monitor the victim’s level of consciousness and ask lots of questions (What’s your name? Where are you? Do you know what happened?)
  3. Additionally, check the victim’s:
    1. Rate of respiration
    2. Pulse strength
    3. Painful areas, loss of feeling or tingling
  4. Treat for shock by comforting and reassuring the victim

Remember to take the signs and symptoms of a concussion seriously because further agitation to the brain can lead to more serious and long-term effects.

Check back next week for part 3 in this blog series, all about concussion prevention.

As always, be calm, be confident and think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your concussion management and lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, on-the-field or in-office session today!

Concussions: Intro (Part 1 of 4)

Concussions are a hot topic in today’s world of sports, with professional all-stars like Sidney Crosby in the limelight. Concussions can happen to anyone, at any age and they are considered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by jolt or bump to the victim’s head.

Over the next four weeks we’ll explore how a concussion happens, as well as how to treat them. Prevention is also an important topic to explore, including educating young athletes on how to prevent their symptoms from getting worse after having had a concussion. Lastly, we’ll get an insider look into how concussions can affect victims in the long-run, as well as provide resources to educate athletes, parents and coaches about the importance of concussion management.

First, let’s start with a short (30 second) video about concussions.

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If you have a few more minutes, I encourage you to watch this longer video (9 minutes, 30 seconds) to get a more complete idea of what concussions are all about.

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Check back next week for part 2, which will explore the signs and symptoms, as well as the treatment for a suspected concussion.

 

Be calm, be confident and think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your concussion awareness and lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, on-the-field or in-office session today!

First Aid Kit for International Travel

Are you planning a trip to a far-away land? Perhaps you’re considering adventuring to a place where the medical risks are higher than they are in North America. This month’s Quick Reference Guide is a first aid kit list for international travel, with some added supplies to protect yourself if hospitals run out of clean and sterile equipment during periods of emergency.

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Many of these items can be found at sporting good stores or through online first aid supplies distributers. Good luck on your travels and remember to always pack a well-stocked first aid kit!

Be calm, be confident and think common sense!

dianasig

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, in-studio or in-office session today!