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Concussions: Know the Signs

By Liberty Hospital

A concussion — the rapid onset of short-lived impairment in neurologic function — cannot just be “shaken off,” according to Kyle Schneweis, M.D., CIC, who is board certified in sports medicine and family medicine and is practicing at The Liberty Clinic.

“Anytime someone has a blow to the head or a blow to the body that was transmitted to the head and has any of the following symptoms, he or she should be evaluated by a physician familiar with concussions and their management,” said Dr. Schneweis, a credentialed ImPACT consultant. ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the most widely used, and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system.

Symptoms include: head/neck pain, dizziness, loss of consciousness, amnesia, poor balance or visual tracking, irritability, slowed reaction times, feeling foggy, drowsiness and insomnia. These symptoms can begin appearing immediately, or they can take hours to develop.

Parents can help ensure their child’s safety by making sure that he or she is being taught proper techniques, such as heads-up tackling in football and that the rules of the sport that are designed to minimize head injuries are being enforced.

He recommends that every child age 12 and over who is playing a contact sport have a baseline ImPACT test done every two years. “This can aid the physician in making sure the child is fully recovered from a concussion should it occur,” Dr. Schneweis said.

Baseline ImPACT testing is available at Liberty Hospital Sports Medicine by calling 816-407-2315.

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