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Repercussions of Concussions

October 16, 2012 - Dr. Greg Walsh
As a child, I can remember an incident where I was chasing a soccer ball into the goal and accidentally rammed my head against the metal post. I blacked out for several moments and groaned as an egg shaped lump began to emerge on my forehead. After shaking off the cobwebs, I ran back onto the field and continued "heading" balls for the rest of the game. In all likelihood, I suffered a concussion.

In the last few years, concussions have become something of a hot topic as a large number of retired athletes have come forward to express their concern over the lasting effects of head trauma. Research is now showing that an individual's risk for damage to the brain increases exponentially each time a person suffers an additional concussion.

Unfortunately, concussions can occur outside the sporting world as well. The individual who forgets to wear a seat belt and suffers head trauma driving down the causeway is in the same danger as the star wide receiver at Fort Myers High School. If you suspect an individual may have a concussion, a prompt evaluation should be performed.

Test for Orientation: Ask the time, place, location, and name of individual

Test for Concentration: Ask to name the months of the year in reverse order

Test for Memory: Give them three words to remember and ask to repeat them in five minutes Ask about current events or what they had for breakfast that morning

You should consider someone concussed until proven otherwise. If you watch the individual and notice a vacant stare, incoordination, slurred speech, or having emotions out of proportion to the circumstance, there could be a problem. In the event of a concussion, contact your general practitioner immediately.

 
 

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