Athletes and Concussions: What You Need To Know to Avoid Serious Brain Injury.According to the Centers for Disease Control, sports-related concussions occur in the United States three million times per year, and among young people ages 15 to 24 concussions are second only to motor vehicle accidents as a leading cause of traumatic brain injury.
In September, the Center for Injury Research and Policy issued a report looking at emergency room visits by basketball players aged 5 to 19 from 1997 through 2007. The researchers found that while overall injuries have dropped by 22 percent, the number of brain injuries has increased 70 percent in the same period. This increase is seen in other school sports as well.
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is calling for any professional or student athlete who may have a concussion or other head injury to be removed from play until the athlete has been evaluated by a physician who has training in the evaluation and management of sports concussion. In addition, the athlete should not be allowed to participate in sports if he or she is still experiencing symptoms from the concussion as additional injury to the brain may cause cumulative, permanent brain damage.
Concussions are difficult to diagnose and may not show up on tests such as CT scans and MRIs. The symptoms may not show up for hours or even days after the injury.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include any of the following:
• Ringing in the ears
• Nausea or vomiting
• Slurred speech
Some symptoms of concussions are not apparent until hours or days later. Delayed symptoms include:
• Memory or concentration problems
• Sensitivity to light and noise
• Sleep disturbances
If you have sustained a concussion in a sporting event, make sure you get the medical care needed to allow your injury to heal. Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury and can lead to permanent brain damage if not treated. Do not allow your coach or team to pressure you into coming back until you have been cleared by a medical doctor.
The Orange County personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie realize the unique impact accidents have on athletes. We’ve written a free book to help you with your recovery: “Athletes and Accidents. 9 Pitfalls That Can Delay Your Recovery.” Request your copy online or call 866-981-5596.