Understanding and preventing concussions

(WTNH)-A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury. Symptoms include dazed or confused after your injury, loss of consciousness, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, stumbling or clumsiness, disorientation, double or fuzzy vision, headache, unusual drowsiness and slurred speech. Dr. Mani Seetharama, Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Hartford Hospital, discussed the causes of a concussions and what you should do if you think you have one. The Concussion Clinic is multi-disciplinary including speech pathologists, physical therapists, clinical psychologists, as well as physiatry. The Concussion Clinic team is also available to discuss prevention strategies with athletic directors, coaches, student athletes and parents.

Recovery from concussion varies. Most people recover completely from a concussion. However, a small percentage will continue to experience one or more symptoms. During recovery, symptoms can interfere with academic performance and limit participation in other activities.

Back to School

Students may return to school immediately following a concussion. School staff should be aware of the following possible issues:

Physical

  • Physical and cognitive fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Headaches
  • Increased fatigue as the day and week progress

Academic

  • Decreased academic achievement
  • Restlessness or difficulty concentrating
  • Short-term memory issues (struggling to learn new information; forgetting instructions; appearing disorganized)
  • Slowed information processing
  • Difficulty understanding concepts

Behavioral

  • Changes in mood
  • Tendency to get upset or emotional easily
  • Social issues
  • Changes in attitude

 

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