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Early Management of Concussion in Injured Athletes

Addressing Concussion Post Play

Because of the increasing popularity sports had gained over the past decades, athletes from across the population have started to pick the sports of their choice. However, an athlete’s life is always at risk for injury that could lead to serious catastrophic or life-threatening outcomes. Concussion or brain injury, for instance, is one of the common injuries that athletes may suffer from as they play. But before concussion becomes a severe condition that can lead to an athlete’s inability to participate in future sports, it is important to manage the problem early on and immediately, so that their recovery window and return to play would be very optimal.

What Are The Techniques For Immediate Management Of Concussion?

Immediate management of concussion should adhere to the basic principle of first aid. This is the time when the clinician arrives at the scene where the concussion happened to the athlete. At this point, the primary goal is to manage the concussion to prevent further complications from arising. With respect to first aid, the immediate treatment and management goal is to prioritize the injured athlete’s airway, breathing and circulation (commonly known as the ABCs of first aid).

Management of Concussions

Immediate management of concussions is crucial once signs and symptoms are recognized.

After these basic first aid techniques have been utilized and the athlete is already in a stable condition, he could now be transferred to the nearest medical facility for further evaluation of his head trauma, and whether or not there is really a presence of brain injury or some other underlying impacts. However, it is important to conduct careful assessment of the athlete’s entire body to determine if there are other parts that have been injured as well. Certain neurological assessments could also be conducted during the transfer from the scene of the injury to the medical facility and these include checking if the patient is disoriented, unconscious, confused, convulsing or uncooperative. Any signs of these could indicate that the brain injury is life-threatening and severe.

Cooperation between Members of the Athletic Health Team is Necessary

Health professionals and trained athletic coordinators should work and coordinate with each other so that further assessment of the injured athlete’s condition could be properly evaluated. Knowing when, where and how the injury happened is necessary to determine the severity of the concussion, and whether or not it could likely cause damage to the brain stem, spine or other nearby vital organs.

Finally, athletic trainers should also know how to conduct first aid, so that they can perform it if in case the trained medical assistant has not yet arrived on the scene.

Related Video on Sports Related Concussion

Sources:

McRory, P. “What advice should we give to athletes postconcussion?” Retrieved online on May 30, 2014 from http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/36/5/315.full.pdf

Nata Journals. “National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Management of Sport-Related Concussion.” Retrieved online on May 30, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC522153/

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