Concussions-Second Impact Syndrome

In light of the president’s attempt last week, to bring attention to the growing concussion crisis in our nation, it is important for us to understand why all 50 states have adopted laws requiring young athletes to be removed from the field once a concussion is suspected.

The American College of Sports Medicine estimates that as many as 2 million concussions occur each year with only 15% diagnosed. In the last two decades, sports physicians have become increasingly aware that a second head impact after even a mild concussion can cause severe brain swelling, and lead to death.

Although tests are being developed to help determine within a few minutes if it is safe for an athlete to return to play, there have been documented cases of second impact syndrome where the first impact was so minor that the athlete did not tell the coach before returning to the game.

Signs of a concussion include:
– Temporary Confusion
– Memory loss about the traumatic event
– Brief loss of responsiveness
– Mild to moderate altered mental status
– Unusual behavior
– Headache

If you witness anyone receive a blow to the head and then exhibit any one of these signs, please ensure that he or she is examined by a qualified medical professional before returning to work/play.

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