Second concussion can be serious for young athletes

Sep 22, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sustaining a second concussion shortly after a first one can lead to serious problems for young athletes, making it extremely important for players to be correctly diagnosed after being hit in the head.

“Second impact syndrome occurs when the brain swells rapidly after a person suffers a second concussion before symptoms of the first concussion have subsided,” said Dr. Patrick McCulloch with the Methodist Center for Sports Medicine in Houston. “While this condition is rare, the results can be catastrophic leading to permanent or even death. It doesn’t matter how severe it is or if the second concussion occurs days or weeks after the first concussion.”

Whether it’s minor or major, a concussion interferes with and can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and coordination.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association says more than 65,000 concussions occur among players each year, with research suggesting the number may be higher since symptoms go unreported. The fear is that some players hide their condition and coaches, not being aware, continue to let the players practice and play in games. McCulloch said players, coaches and parents need to understand the severity of multiple concussions.

“Trainers and/or doctors need to do a thorough neurologic exam on the sidelines,” McCulloch said. “Other symptoms they should be looking for include headache, blurry vision, and fogginess; difficulty concentrating or sleeping. Symptoms of post-concussive syndrome can last days or even weeks.”

New guidelines put forth by a panel of international neurologists states that any athlete, age 18 or younger, who was believed to have sustained a concussion during a game or practice should never be allowed back on the field the same day. The panel also recommends players need physical rest as well as cognitive rest after a concussion; limiting video games, schoolwork and other activities will help aid in the recovery.

“When it comes to concussions we have to think about the individual first and not about his value to the team or winning a playoff game,” McCulloch said. “Taking necessary precautions at the time of the first will give the kid a better chance at a normal life once he or she hangs it up.”

Provided by Methodist Hospital System

Explore further: Synthetic pot sends hundreds to ERs in past month

Related Stories

Classifying concussions could help kids

Mar 02, 2009

It's estimated that more than a half million kids in the U.S. go to the hospital each year with a concussion.* That's an average of a kid per minute- every minute of every day. Some concussions are worse than others but it ...

Recommended for you

India's bidi workers suffer for 1,000-a-day habit

16 hours ago

Zainab Begum Alvi and her band of young helpers hunch over baskets filled with tobacco flakes and dried leaves, trying to roll a thousand dirt-cheap cigarettes a day at the behest of India's powerful bidi barons.

Key to better sex ed: Focus on gender & power

Apr 17, 2015

A new analysis by Population Council researcher Nicole Haberland provides powerful evidence that sexuality and HIV education programs addressing gender and power in intimate relationships are far more likely ...

Journal tackles aging policy issues raised by White House

Apr 17, 2015

In anticipation of the forthcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA), The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has produced a special issue of The Gerontologist that outlines a vision for older adults' econom ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.