People often associate concussion with contact sports like rugby, rugby league, or the likes of MMA and boxing, but the reality is concussion can happen in any sport; you don’t have to be knocked out or even be hit on the head directly to be concussed. Over the years we have seen concussions from surfing, horse riding, squash, cricket, the list goes on.
Many sports have done a great job educating players, coaches, managers and parents on concussion, and in rugby’s case introduced the blue card. But as participants in sport, or parents of sporty kids, we should all have a good solid understanding of what to do when we suspect a concussion has occurred.
The easiest thing to remember is…
Any athlete with a suspected concussion (Recognise the signs) should be immediately removed from play, and should not be returned to activity until they are assessed medically. Symptoms cannot always be seen, so if someone has been involved in a collision injury they should also be removed.
Athletes with a suspected concussion should not be left alone and should not drive a motor vehicle.
Anyone with a suspected head injury needs to be assessed by a medical doctor. Only a qualified medical doctor can assess and diagnose a concussion. This is essential to confirm the diagnoses of concussion and to assess the risk for more serious injury.
It is useful to have a list of local medical doctors, concussion clinics and emergency departments close to where the sport/activity is being played. A pre-activity checklist of the appropriate services could include:
ACC Sportsmart has some great resources available to help guide this process, check it out here
If you see any of these symptoms, a player has potentially suffered a concussion and should be removed from play.
If a player shows any of these signs, take them immediately to hospital
With any concussion, it is better to play it safe and have your injury assessed by an experienced professional before you return to play, than risk further injury. We work closely with our partner’s Axis Sports Medicine Specialists as part of Auckland’s most comprehensive sports concussion service.
Learn more here or call 09 521 9846 to make an appointment