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Old 03-12-2002, 07:37 PM   #1
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what do you know of concussions?

maybe this should be posted in a medical thread, but i dont know where that one is these days...

i just came from the hospital where my brother was after he arrived with a concussion from hockey practice.

now i know quite a bit about them, ive had one when i cracked my skull at 9 months old (explains alot now doesnt it?) but i was wondering about something a little different...

when one gets his first concussion, does this right aways make him more succeptable to getting more? or it is more likely after the 3 or 4th occassion?

*think about brett and eric lindros

my brothers a great hockey player and id hate to see something like this plague his career, or his regular life with headaches all the time.

thats pretty much my only question.

and for the record, my brother is fine, with all things considered. he hasnt forgotten anything, so things should be good.

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Old 03-12-2002, 08:12 PM   #2
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Sorry about your brother.. I'm sure he'll be ok. I found an article.. I dont know if you care to read it all but I'll post it anyway. And I dont mean to freak you out, but you should know some facts!

Concussions and sports:
Athletes must use their heads to avoid serious injury, U-M expert says

ANN ARBOR, MI -- With spring and summer sports seasons ready to begin, a University of Michigan expert is warning athletes of all kinds - students, amateurs, and professionals alike - to heed new findings about an old sports injury: concussion.

Even a little hit on the head, whether in a Little League baseball game or a pickup round of basketball, can mean big problems, says Edward Wojtys, M.D., a U-M sports medicine specialist who recently led a national committee on concussion treatment guidelines.

He explains that sports-related concussions are far more common - and potentially more dangerous - than most people realize. New research shows that a single brain-bruising knock can cause damage, and that repeated concussions may cause permanent brain injury.

So, Wojtys advises, parents, coaches and trainers to know the basic signs of concussion, and what to do if they suspect a player has suffered one. There are even checklists to guide them.

"The number of concussions that cause truly critical injuries are few and far between, but every year in North American several kids lose their lives to undiagnosed concussions," he says. "Most concussions are minor, causing short-lived symptoms that clear up pretty quickly," he adds.

But others can be life-threatening. Only proper screening on the sidelines and treatment by trained professionals can help decide when or if an athlete can return to the game. Once an athlete has had a concussion, the risks from additional ones are even higher.

"The real danger with some minor concussions is that they can make the brain and nervous system susceptible to another blow," Wojtys says. "If it comes along, that can cause the nervous system to deteriorate rapidly. It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's truly an emergency."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 500 deaths annually result from sports-related head trauma; most of these occur among 15- to 24-year-olds. Although concussions are associated mostly with contact sports like football, baseball, soccer and hockey, Wojtys cautions that even non-contact sports can carry a risk of concussion.

So what, exactly, is a concussion? In general, Wojtys says, it's an "alteration in brain function usually caused by trauma, and it can be anything from dizziness to nausea, to a headache or even loss of consciousness."

How can you tell if you or someone else may have suffered one? Says Wojtys, "If an athlete is acting a little bit dazed, if their balance is obviously affected, if they're not walking or talking right, or responding properly, all of these things are very important. If these are combined with headache, nausea, vomiting or inability to sleep, that could be very significant."

Most commonly, a "routine" head trauma presents as a mild headache that gradually disappears. However, before returning to sports, anyone who experiences a concussion, no matter what the severity, should be checked by a physician. But it is especially imperative when symptoms persist, such as a headache that continues more than 15 minutes after the incident, that the injury be evaluated.

"Anyone who shows deterioration after the initial event, who has a headache for a while and an hour later is nauseated or is vomiting, should be taken to the emergency room. That's someone we can't take a chance with," he says.

Wojtys explains that neurological research indicates that the brain sustains lasting "bruises" even after symptoms, even the subtlest ones, have disappeared. In order for the brain to fully heal, it requires rest, sleep, protection from subsequent impact, and abstinence from alcohol.

He stresses the need for parents, coaches and trainers to know the basic signs of concussion. He said there is a simple sideline evaluation that tests an injured athlete's memory, which is a good indicator because memory is particularly sensitive to alterations in brain function. If a player cannot pass the evaluation, he should be sidelined.

The form is available on the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Web site, www.sportsmed.org, along with an article about concussion management.

Research still continues on the effects of concussion on the brain and its function, and on the best way to evaluate and treat concussion. But even as more information comes in, athletes and those who care about them should use their heads and be cautious about concussion.

Facts about concussions:

More than 300,000 American athletes sustain concussions or other mild to moderate brain injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
20 percent of high school football players has a concussion each year, according to NCAA.
A 1991 survey found that a third of those who suffer concussions did not see a doctor.

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Old 03-12-2002, 08:15 PM   #3
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thanks alot sicy, thats more than i was expecting.

an update, for anyone who might care, my bro is staying for night at the hospital, if he gets worse he goes to the city.

i imagine thats routine and regular procedure.

still is kinda tough to see.
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:38 PM   #4
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i think it's pretty standard to keep someone in the hospital for 24 hrs. after a concussion to check them while they're sleeping. shouldn't be anything to worry about and i'm sure he'll be ok. i'm sorry though - concussions suck.
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:39 PM   #5
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Thats kinda scary. I hope your brother gets better soon.
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