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What is a concussion (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury)?
A concussion occurs when a sudden force to the body interrupts brain function.

  • Can occur when an athlete is struck in the head by an object (ball, baseball bat, lacrosse stick)
  • Can occur when the athlete’s moving head strikes some fixed object (floor, turf, goalpoast), which results in impact deceleration of the brain.
  • Can happen even if an athlete has not lost consciousness.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?
Concussions cannot be seen; however, in a potentially concussed student athlete, any one of the symptoms listed below may become apparent.

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Bothered by light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in ears
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irritable
  • Nervous
  • Inappropriate emotions
  • Vacant staring

What should athletes do if they believe that they may have a concussion?

  • Athletes feeling any of the symptoms set forth above should immediately tell their coach.
  • That athlete should then be evaluated by a sports medicine professional.
  • If diagnosed with a concussion, the athlete must take the time for his/her brain to heal

Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes for an already concussed athlete to recover and may cause more damage to his/her brain. Such damage can have long term consequences. It is important that a concussed athlete rest and not return to physical activity until he/she is symptom-free and receives a clearance note from a physician.

Don’t hide it. Report it. Take time to recover.

Concussion Treatment Protocol
If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion a parent/guardian will be notified by the athletic trainer.

The following instructions will be given.

Please refer to this protocol when your athlete is suspected of having a concussion so that you can be on the same page with the sports medicine professionals who are taking care of your athlete.

  1. If an athlete’s symptoms do not subside after 24 hrs, it is required that your child see a physician. When taking your child to a physician, you will need to provide the athletic trainer with a detailed note explaining the athlete’s diagnosis, treatment plan and return to participation guidelines.
  2. If your child vomits, loses consciousness or their symptoms become progressively worse, they should be taken to the emergency room immediately.
  3. Athlete needs to be on complete physical and cognitive rest.
  4. Once your child is asymptomatic, they must return to their physician for clearance. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL BE CLEARED TO IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO ACTIVITY. Once cleared by physician, they must complete the athletic trainer’s return to play protocol. This is a 4 day program that includes exertional exercise while being monitored by the athletic training staff. An example of the return to play protocol is as follows:
  • Day 1 – 30 minutes on stationary bike
  • Day 2 – circuit workout using running/bike with body weight strength exercises
  • Day 3 – NON-CONTACT practice

If an athlete’s symptoms return during any phase of the return to play protocol, they will be put on rest for 24 hours until symptoms subside and must return to the same day of their return to play protocol that they were on before symptoms surfaced.

If your child’s symptoms continue to return during the return to play protocol, he/she must go back to his/her physician for re-evaluation and return with a detailed note explaining the plan of action.

Once your child has been cleared by the physician and successfully completes the testing process, they will be cleared to return to athletics.

National Athletic Trainers' Association

Contact the Sports Medicine Staff
J.A. Greene, MS, LAT, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer
Tara Davis, ATC, Assistant Athletic Trainer
Phone: 610-775-9456 (ext. 1041)

Athletic training room/office:
10 S. Waverly Street, Shillington, PA 19607
Auxiliary gym entrance – enter through doors 20 or 21.

Partner Physician:
Berkshire Orthopedics/
Team Sports Medicine
2201 Ridgewood Road, Suite 250, Wyomissing, PA 19610
Office: 610-375-4949
Dr. Stephen Soffer, M.D.

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