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Concussions

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Concussions
Concussions

That coach has something against my kid. So he’s a little dazed after that last hit. So? He can walk it off. Let him back in, coach!

Ummmm…no. Just, no. He may miss some of the game, but he’s really going to miss his brain later. I’m blowing this all out of proportion, right? Let’s see what a concussion is.

Concussions can happen to anyone, any age, if hit hard enough or just right. And yes, it is considered a form of brain damage. Because it is. The brain is literally damaged. Cells are killed. We know this because we have tons of brain scans from people with all types of head injuries from cracked skulls to seemingly minor bumps on the head. Amazingly, when we look at the scans, most work and look the same. Obviously someone knocked out cold has worse damage than someone just dazed, but the damage is in the same places and often permanent.

So let’s look at how it works. Imagine you are carrying a glass of milk into the other room. While you’re walking, the milk is basically resting flat in the cup even though it’s moving. What happens if you stop suddenly? The milk rushes forward in the cup, often spilling over the top front lip. Then it washes backward and splashes over the back lip. Well, now we have a big mess. What does this have to do with concussions? The cup is your kid’s skull and the milk is his brain. When he’s running or whatever, the brain is relatively stable. When his head stops suddenly, like from a hard hit or even whiplash, the skull stops but the brain keeps moving. It smashes the front against the front of his skull, then slams backward and hits the back of his skull with the back of his brain. I hope you can see why this is bad. Smashing too hard or too many times is going to kill brain cells! So when your kid is “just dazed”, he only killed a few hundred brain cells. If he is knocked out cold or blacks out at all really, he killed a few thousand cells! (Numbers are just for example. I don’t actually know how many brain cells die, but you get the idea.)

As a nurse practitioner, I have to tell you that I’ve seen people with severe brain damage from being hit too hard too often. I’ve seen football players who are far too young to not be able to remember their names or family members. I’ve seen people who were in car accidents whose lives were ruined by “just” whiplash. Brain damage from even minor head injuries is real.

So the next time you see someone get taken out of a game for potential concussion, whether professional players or your player, don’t be obnoxious toward the refs. Their job is to make sure everyone can remember their name in 5 years. If someone loses consciousness, even if only for a few seconds, definitely get them checked out before sending them back to play. Same with whiplash. If someone is in an accident with any kind of neck or back involvement, get them checked out for a concussion.

If you have any questions about anything medical, give us a call. No guarantees I can answer, but I sure will try. And if you just want to put a face to these medical blurbs, come meet me. www.first-priority-mc.com0People Reached0EngagementsSchedule BoostLikeCommentShare