It seems like a no-brainer. But are you sure you know the guidelines?
Concussion reflects a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury to the brain.
The symptoms should be short-lived, but unfortunately, a concussion can progress to a more serious brain injury when not recognised and treated properly. It generally takes younger people longer to recover from a concussion.
Sportsmen, GPs and even dedicated doctors to sports teams are often unaware of the existence of guidelines for concussion management.
Price et. al. (2012) surveyed club doctors for English league football (soccer) and found over 25% did not know about the 2008 international guidelines, and over 50% did not routinely follow them.
In a 2013 online survey of 39 Australian GPs, 46% were not aware of any specific guidelines related to concussion management and 30% would allow a concussed participant to return to play in the same game. (Australian Doctor, 27 November 2014)
The basic 3 principles extracted from published guidelines are outlined below.
- If a concussion is suspected, rest until ALL symptoms have resolved and do not return to sport or work on the day of the injury
- Seek a medical evaluation, including cognitive and memory testing to objectively confirm that cognition has returned to normal
- Plan a graded program of progressively increasing exertion before return to sport.
This video is a must-watch for all young sportspeople.