President's Prescription: Preventing injuries on the field

President's Prescription: Preventing injuries on the field

When we're watching our favorite sports team, and it doesn't matter if it's professional sports or collegiate sports or just some kids' playing ball, it's not uncommon to see a truly cringe-worthy hit, or fall or tumble or collision on a court or on a field.

And while most of us understand that it's really just part of the game, it does lead us to wonder when is an injury, particularly a head injury, serious. So here are some things to remember about concussions and traumatic brain injury.

Recognize the signs of a concussion. First of all, not all concussion cause a loss of consciousness, and a head injury may still be serious even if you don't pass out. Signs of a concussion do include nausea, headache, blurred vision, balance issues and dizziness, as well as a change in mood.

Know what to do. If any of these symptoms occur, you must seek medical attention. Do not drive yourself to a health care provider, but a person exhibiting these signs should be evaluated immediately.

Practice prevention. Most sports carry some degree of risk, but attention should be paid to minimize the risk of head injury. This includes ensuring that helmets fit properly and are worn every time you play. Also, always wear your seatbelt. Finally, extra caution should be taken after a person's first concussion, because the head is more sensitive following a traumatic brain injury, and the risk of re-injury is higher.

And on last thing to remember, sometime folks think that after you've had a concussion you shouldn't sleep, but this is not necessarily true. In fact, after someone has had an evaluation by a medical professional often times they should sleep to help with recovery. For maintaining good health, I'm Dr. Tedd Mitchell.

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