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Concussion Management

A concussion is a brain injury that can be caused by a bump or blow to the head or from a fall or blow to the body which causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Headache and dizziness are the most commonly reported symptoms immediately following concussions. Concussions are serious and need your immediate attention.

Altru Health System partners with your local medical providers, athletes, parents and schools to provide concussion education and management to keep athletes healthy and in the game.

Is It a Concussion?

Common signs or symptoms reported by student athlete, parents or coaches that could signify a concussion might include:

Symptoms Reported by Student Athlete:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion

Signs Observed by Parent/Guardian, Coaching Staff, Etc.:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment or position
  • Forgets sports plays, instructions
  • Is unsure of game, score or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to or after hit or fall

If You Suspect a Concussion

As a parent, coach or teammate, remember these important steps to help an athlete who may have suffered a concussion:

  • Seek medical attention right away. A healthcare professional experienced in evaluating for concussion will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for the athlete to return to play. 
  • Notify school professionals and coaches. They should know if the athlete had a recent concussion. 
  • The athlete may need to limit activities during concussion recovery. Studying, driving, working on computer and exercising may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse. 
  • Second impact syndrome (SIS) is when a second concussion occurs before the brain recovers from the first - usually within a short period of time. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling, long term or permanent brain damage, and even death.
  • Keep the athlete out of play. Concussions take time to heal.

ImPACT Program

A concussion is a common injury, but is often difficult to diagnose. Altru Health System works with ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) computer-based screening to help healthcare professionals evaluate the recovery of student athletes following a concussion and ensure their safe return to play.

How Does ImPACT Work?

  • A baseline test is completed.
  • When a concussion is suspected, a follow-up test is administered to see if results have changed from the baseline.
  • This comparison helps to diagnose and manage the concussion.
  • Follow-up tests can be administered over days or weeks, so clinicians can continue to track the student athlete's recovery.
  • For ages 12 years and older.
  • Testing is available to youth organizations.