- All concussions are serious.
- Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
- Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death.
Definition of a Concussion
A bump, blow, or jolt to the head can cause a concussion which is a type of traumatic brain injury, (TBI). Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding” or “getting your bell rung” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. On the lacrosse field, concussions can result from a fall, being struck in the head by a stick or ball or from players colliding with each other or with obstacles.
WHEN A CONCUSSION IS SUSPECTED
If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, implement our four-step action plan:
1. Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs and symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced a bump or blow to the head or body. When in doubt, sit them out.
2. Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion. Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself. Health care professionals have a number of methods that they can use to assess the severity of concussions. As a coach, recording the following information can help health care professionals in assessing the athlete after the injury:
· Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to the head or body
· Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and if so, for how long
· Any memory loss immediately following the injury
· Any seizures immediately following the injury
· Number of previous concussions (if any)
3. Inform the athlete’s parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them information on concussion. This fact sheet can help parents monitor the athlete for signs or symptoms that appear or get worse once the athlete is at home or returns to school.
4. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until an appropriate health care professional says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play with written documentation. Written documentation needs to be given to club directors and players will not be allowed on the field until that is provided.