How Do You Recognize a Concussion? Important Tips From a Neurologist

“By being watchful for the signs and symptoms. This includes disorientation, imbalance, incoordination, confusion, headache, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound. These can lead to problems with sleeping, problems with mood, and even problems with focus and memory.”
— Harry Kerasidis, MD, neurologist with 25 years studying, treating concussion injuries. He is co-founder of XLNTbrain, and author of Concussion-ology: Redefining Sports Concussion Management For All Levels.

Of course, the most obvious sign is loss of consciousness. When an athlete lies motionless, do not attempt to move them in any way. If they are unresponsive after 30 seconds, call 9-1-1. However, should they wake up before 30 seconds, ask if the athlete felt anything break or “pop” which helps identify how to move the athlete to their feet.

Allow the athlete to move to the sideline unassisted, unless the injury is obviously too severe. Observe for the signs mentioned above.

Begin the concussion sideline assessment protocol. Through XLNTbrain.com, which has a companion mobile app for smartphones called XLNTbrain Mobile App, use the questions, and Balance Test to help determine the risk of concussion injury.

Be patient.

Many times, symptoms of concussion injury take several minutes — even 24 hours — to become apparent. The XLNTbrain tool will guide you with next steps, which may include entering the concussion recovery protocol.

Using XLNTbrain Mobile, the sideline assessment data will be emailed automatically to the appropriate people, including the parents, coach, and medical personnel.

Please note that while parents and athletes may have the largest stake in the decisions to return-to-play or return-to-learn, obtaining medical clearance is required for concussion injuries in virtually every state now. Therefore, use XLNTbrain to provide your doctor with the data from our testing. He will then begin to ask more pointed questions, and be able to give that — all-important — return-to-play decision.

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