Guidelines on recognizing and treating concussion:
1. A cognitive assessment should be part of a pre-season physical. This important tool, which is increasingly being used
at both the professional and school-age levels, helps to establish a baseline “point of reference” that can be helpful in diagnosing the extent of any brain injury.
2. An athlete suspected of sustaining a MTBI should be removed from competition immediately and examined by a trained professional. Coaches, trainers, parents and players should be on the lookout for symptoms including dizziness, loss of balance, confusion, headache, nausea and/or vomiting.
3. Any athlete who experiences loss of consciousness, even if just for a few seconds, should be taken to the emergency room immediately for a thorough neurological evaluation.
4. While there are no clear-cut guidelines for return to play, rest is critical. It takes time for the brain to recover and the athlete should limit physical activities and continue to be observed for several days. Adequate “cognitive” rest is also important, so television, video games and certain school work should be kept to a minimum.[quote]”Most athletes recover spontaneously and completely from a concussion,” says Dr. Jasey. “However, it is most important to remember that any injury to the brain is serious and requires immediate medical attention and appropriate treatment to avoid complications and optimize the health of the athlete.”[/quote]
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation www.kessler-rehab.com.