By Dr. Eugene Bailey MD

There is a lot of information available on concussions in sports, and more is becoming available all the time. Coaches and trainers need to be very careful with players when it appears they may have suffered a concussion. They should not be put back into practice or a game until all symptoms of the concussion are gone, and they are cleared medically to return to play.

Some of the symptoms to look for of an initial concussion include;

  • Disorientation
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Temporary loss of consciousness

If you are a coach, trainer or even a parent of the player and you notice any of these symptoms, do not allow the player to return to the practice or the game. If they do, the chances of another impact that could cause a second concussion are enhanced, and more severe damage could result.

In a recent article published by the Dolman Law Group titled, “Second Impact Syndrome and Other Concussion Complications,” they review what Second Impact Syndrome” is the serious effects it could have. Here are some of the key points in the article.

Second-impact syndrome (SIS) is a rare condition in which a person receives a second concussion before their first concussion has properly healed. The result can be rapid and many times include severe brain swelling, and the outcome is often catastrophic. Second impact syndrome can result from even a mild concussion that occurs days or weeks after the initial incident. It most often happens when someone is susceptible to multiple concussions, like an athlete.

In the article, it states that young athletes (specifically high school age) are the demographic most at risk. Those who participate in contact sports such as football, baseball, and hockey are at greater risk, but even non-contact sports in which an athlete could fall are also considered.

The article cited a study of American high school and college football players who had suffered catastrophic head injuries over a 13 year period. Of the 94 documented cases, only two occurred at the college level. Of the high school players, 71% had a previous concussion in the same season.

Second Impact Syndrome is considered a rare condition and the article stated that the second concussion might occur days or even weeks after the initial one.  Symptoms from the second impact to the head can begin days or even weeks after the incident, or they can start immediately.

Although there is a possibility of delayed symptoms, they are usually noticed immediately and can progress rapidly. Here are some of the symptoms of SIS;

  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of eye movement
  • Unconsciousness
  • Respiratory failure

Therefore, it is critical that players are properly evaluated for an initial concussion and care is taken not to put them back on the field of play until they are medically cleared to do so.

The full article can be found at the attached link.


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