Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What Do You Know About Concussions?

A concussion is a common, but serious brain injury. It can be caused by a hard hit to the body or a blow to the head—especially when playing a high-impact sport—that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can then cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Important signs to observe include appearing to be dazed or stunned, loss of awareness and being confused, memory loss, slow to answer questions and behavior or personality changes. Symptoms can include headache, feeling off-balance, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light, sleep disturbances and vision issues. In some cases a loved one or a friend may be having a concussion and not know it.

Wearing the correct athletic safety gear during sports can help reduce your risk of getting a concussion. Helmets and other gear should fit properly and be worn appropriately.

It is always essential to rest after any concussion. This allows your brain to heal. Once your health care provider has granted permission to return to sports or exercise it should be gradual.

Catholic Health Services’s St. Charles and Good Samaritan hospitals both have the ThinkSMART!™ Concussion Management Programs. This includes concussion education, baseline testing and concussion treatment services for student athletes and individuals who have sustained, or are at risk of concussion, a common but serious traumatic brain injury.

To date, approximately 30,000 students have received neurocognitive baseline testing through this program. The ThinkSmart!™ team of clinicians from St. Charles and Good Samaritan includes emergency medicine physicians, neurologists, physical medicine/rehabilitation physicians, orthopedic physicians, neuropsychologists, nurses and physical therapists who work with student athletes and their families.

Watch #CHS's Executive Vice President & System Chief Medical Officer Patrick O'Shaughnessy, DO discuss discuss the importance of staying safe on the field:

For more health information, go to CHS’s YouTube channel where you can view more of Dr. O’s Health Tips & Solutions