Concussions have been, and continue to be, a major concern these past few years. Concussion awareness is higher than it has been ever before, and we have learned more about the head and how Traumatic Brain Injuries are affecting athletes at all levels, however it is not a direct science. Everyone reacts to concussions differently, and not every concussion is the same. It is difficult to assess the severity of a concussion, because we cannot see the damage that is done. This is why we are using the ImPACT concussion testing along with physical tests for all the athletes to help us assess cognitive damage that is done in the event of an injury. This is a fact sheet to inform you about how we, at WB, are handling concussions and what your job in the process is.
If your child suffers a head injury during a practice or game, and is not sent immediately to the Emergency room, we recommend that you take your child to see a Concussion Specialist, or to your PCP as soon as you are able to. If your athlete’s symptoms are worsening and they’re in great discomfort, do not wait for an appointment; take them to the ER.
Signs and Symptoms to look out for: Headache, Nausea, Fatigue, Sensitivity to light or noise, inability to concentrate, irritability or other emotional changes, balance problems or dizziness, sleeplessness, blurry vision, slowly to talk or answer questions, delayed reaction time and clumsiness. Athletes who have suffered a concussion will have difficulty with common tasks and many activities will bring about symptoms; reading, playing video games, watching TV, writing, driving/riding in vehicles, computer activities, and being in brightly lit areas. During your child’s recovery limiting these activities, staying hydrated with plenty of water and practicing complete cognitive rest , will help promote healing and a speedy recovery.
The policy we have in place at West Bridgewater states that “WBHS will not let any student athlete “return to play”on a school sport team without a note from a Licensed Medical Doctor, who is experienced in Concussions Diagnosis and Management.”Department of public health regulation 105 CMR 201.011(B) states:
“By September 2013, physicians, nurse practitioners, certified athletic trainers and neuropsychologists providing medical clearance for return to play shall verify that they have received Department-approved training in post traumatic head injury assessment and management or have received equivalent training as part of their licensure or continuing education.”
We refer our athletes to see Dr. Muse or Dr. Lawson at Signature Healthcare in Brockton. This is who we work with directly; they have access to the ImPACT baseline, and post injury tests that are given at the school. This allows for a smooth recovery and speedy clearance. However, you do not need to see this doctor if insurance does not allow, or you have a concussion specialist in your Primary Care office. You may take your child to see their Primary Care physician however we need documentation that they are trained in Concussion evaluation and return to play protocols.