Education & Resources

Save the Brain and Logan Health have come to consensus on concussion management strategies for youth involved in athletics. Concussion Campaign Consensus Recommendations

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that causes an alteration in brain function.

During a concussion, rotation or shaking of the brain occurs that causes tiny areas of damage throughout the brain. This causes a release of chemicals in the brain that can lead to worsening symptoms over the following three days. Imaging studies such as CT scans and MRIs can be normal initially; however, many different areas of the brain may still be affected.

Concussions can occur from many different types of injuries, both on and off the playing field. While bumping your head on something can cause a concussion, a collision is not needed to create this damage. Rotational and whiplash injuries are other common causes of concussion.

Football is the sport with the most reported concussions; however, sports such as hockey, soccer and lacrosse also have high rates of concussion. Additionally, activities such as rock climbing and horseback riding, as well as car accidents, are common causes of concussion injuries.

What are the signs and symptoms of concussion?

If you think you or your child has had a concussion, you should see a licensed health care professional within 72 hours.

Signs observed by bystanders (usually parents or coaches):
  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Is confused about events.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Repeats questions.
  • Can’t recall events after the hit, bump or fall.
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Shows behavior or personality changes.
  • Forgets class schedule or assignments.
  • May be uncharacteristically irritable, sad or nervous.
  • Tends to be more emotional than usual.
Symptoms reported by the athlete or injured individual:
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Feeing more “slowed down”
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or feeling tired
  • Uncoordinated, dizzy
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating on a skill or task
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Does not “feel right”
Some symptoms can be an indication that a more severe traumatic brain injury occurred. If any of these symptoms are present, the athlete should be evaluated by a qualified medical or emergency professional without delay:
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe or increasing neck pain
  • Increasing confusion
  • Increasing irritability
  • Vomiting, seizure
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Tingling or burning in arms or legs
  • Decreasing level of consciousness
  • Severe or increasing headache
  • Unusual behavior change
  • Double vision
  • One pupil larger than the other

Concussion Management Training

Please consider attending a training session to learn more about concussion management. We have events open to all members of the community.

Validated Tools Recommended by Save the Brain Providers

Return to play protocol includes six graduated steps of recovery for returning to activity after concussion. The return to play protocol should be monitored by a licensed health care provider who has been trained in concussion management.

Return to learn protocol is recommended as a guide for successfully resuming learning after concussion. Concussed students should undergo a period of cognitive rest followed by a gradual, staged increase in cognitive activity before resuming a normal academic schedule.

Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, 5th Edition (SCAT5 and Child SCAT5), is a standardized tool for evaluating athletes before and after injury.

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the most widely used and scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation tool. Trained and certified clinicians using this neurocognitive assessment tool track multiple cognitive functions including attention span, working memory, sustained and selective attention time, response variability, nonverbal problem solving and reaction time. Clinicians have the ability to quantify the elements of balance before and after an injury. The test assesses all three sensory feedback systems (visual, vestibular and somatosensory).

Biodex Balance Assessment uses the Clinical Test of Sensory Integration and Balance. Clinicians have the ability to quantify the elements of balance before and after an injury. The test assesses all three sensory feedback systems (visual, vestibular and somatosensory).