Concussion: For TBI, There’s No Such Thing as TMI
- Posted on: Jun 30 2018
Whether we are discussing our relationship or our health, there is usually a boundary at which we stop offering information. In most situations, too much information (TMI) is just too much. The exception is when speaking with a doctor about a recent injury or change in health status. Here, we want to discuss the risks of Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI, and what to do if you or a loved one experienced a concussion.
In recent years, we have become increasingly aware of the potentially serious nature of a seemingly innocent “hit.” If you’ve ever watched a single quarter of a Monday Night Football game, you may have caught yourself wondering how players can get to their feet after some of the collisions that take place. What we see now is that, while they may get back on their feet, it isn’t without consequence. In the cases of some of our most beloved NFL players, doctors have discovered that the micro-injuries sustained during games have the potential to lead to traumatic brain injury. Worse, that the trauma the brain has suffered can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
What This Has to do with You
We are in an era of healthy competition among our children. Many children are engaging in youth football or playing for their high school team. And it isn’t only football that presents a risk for concussion. While not as high, the risk for head injury is also present for baseball players, equestrians, cyclists, hockey and soccer players. It isn’t that children shouldn’t play sports; it’s that parents, coaches, and the players themselves need to be aware of symptoms that warrant medical evaluation.
TBIs range from mild to severe and almost always give us clues. Common signs of a brain injury include disorientation or confusion that lingers more than 30 minutes after a collision on the field. Additional indicators include forgetfulness, moodiness, headaches, and loss of cognitive function. Depending on the severity of a TBI, full recovery can take years.
How to Manage Risks Associated with TBI
The first step parents and players can take to reduce risks is to wear proper gear. If appropriate headgear is not available, there should be no play. If a collision, fall, or other accident occurs and involves the head, medical attention should be sought. Advanced imaging screenings such as MRI or CT scan may be ordered to observe any changes to function, microhemorrhage, or other injuries.
Posted in: Radiology