Concussion care: Seek out ImPACT-Trained Providers
With fall sports getting into full swing, it’s time for parents, coaches, referees, and others to be aware of the symptoms of a concussion and how to care for an athlete with a suspected head injury. It’s also important to teach student athletes how to look out for themselves and their teammates.
If a student experiences any of the following symptoms after receiving a blow or sudden jolt to the head, it’s time for that student to be evaluated by a trained medical provider. Classic concussion symptoms include: problems with concentration or memory; dizziness or lightheadedness; sensitivity to light or noise; change in sleep pattern; double or fuzzy vision; feeling “foggy”; headache; nausea.
It is recommended that the student be cared for by a provider who has received ImPACT® training. ImPACT® stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. It is a tool to help trained healthcare providers make sound return-to-activity decisions following a concussion.
If a student suspects he may have a concussion, he should: stop performing any physical activity; advise a coach, athletic trainer or team physician of the symptoms he is experiencing; seek medical care; wait until he has medical permission to return to his sports activity.
Student athletes are also advised to be aware of their teammates and encourage one another to report possible concussion symptoms to a coach, trainer, parent or other responsible adult.
“As we learn the long-term effects of even a single concussion, we want to impress upon every student athlete, coach, athletic trainer, and parent the importance of reporting a possible concussion and seeking medical attention,” said Melissa Johnston, certified athletic trainer.
“If a student athlete sees a fellow student athlete performing strangely, he or she should encourage that student to seek help from a coach, athletic trainer or parent, or let the coach or athletic trainer know that someone else may have a problem. It’s important for teammates to look out for one another and respect one another for following concussion treatment guidelines. It’s just very important that anyone suspected of having a sports-related concussion receive prompt medical care as soon as possible, and they should not return to physical activities until cleared by a medical professional,” she added.