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Concussions in Sport | WiSE Specialist Emergency Clinic

Concussions in Sport

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Concussions in Sport

Sporting season is here and sports-related concussions are on the rise, know what to look out for

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury caused by knock to the head or a fall to the ground. Concussions affect all levels of athletes, ranging from leisurely players to elite professionals. It may result in a temporary loss of brain skills such as memory.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may be discreet, obvious or critical. If unsure whether your player has a concussion or not, sit them out and wait for a professional medical practitioner to perform further assessments.

Possible signs

  • A headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems
  • Blurred vision

Obvious signs

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Impact seizure
  • Memory impairment
  • Behavior change atypical of the person

Critical signs

  • Seizure or convulsion
  • Neck pain
  • Deteriorating conscious state
  • A severe and increasing headache
  • Weakness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Double vision

If a player is experiencing any of these critical signs, seek emergency medical attention immediately

Athletes with a suspected concussion or head injury should not

  • Be left alone for the first 2 hours
  • Not drink alcohol
  • Not drive
  • Not use recreational or prescriptive drugs

When can a player return to the field?

A player should not resume to their sporting activity until they have been assessed by a medical practitioner, even if symptoms dissipate.

If a concussion is only suspected, a player should still not return to the field that same day and must follow the guidelines to ‘remove, recover and refer’. To view this gudeliness as set by The  Australian Rugby Union, click here.

Want to know more?

For more information on how to assess a concussion refer to The Concussion in Sport Group’s Concussion Recognition Tool Kit.