As a regional leader in health care, CGH Medical Center has a long tradition of providing programs to the community that benefit its health and safety. Illinois State Law requires a health professional to evaluate and to provide consent to an athlete before returning to play after a concussion. The law does not provide specific guidelines on directing the decision about when to safely return an athlete to play. CGH Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality care to local athletes. As part of that commitment and to supplement the current Illinois law, the CGH Sports Concussion Program was developed to achieve three goals:
A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by a forceful blow to the head or to the body. For example, an athlete may collide with another player or fall to the ground during a game. In either case, the brain may be injured by direct impact or by the head moving quickly back and forth. Repeated concussions can result in permanent brain damage and, in severe cases, death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that as many as 3,900,000 sports-related and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year. This statistic most likely underestimates the true severity of the problem because many concussions are ignored, undiagnosed or unreported. Consequently, athletes do not receive appropriate medical care, which places them at higher risk for significant brain injury.
Although all athletes are at risk for sustaining a concussion during play, concussions are most common in football, soccer, basketball, hockey, and bicycling. The proportion of concussions keeping athletes out of play for at least one day is on the rise. Concussions impair physical mental functions such as behavior, concentration, memory, mood, balance, and strength. Recurrent concussions are linked to the development of long-term brain disease including epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.
Overall, a concussion can have a significant impact on an athlete's activities of daily living, education, physical fitness, and future occupation.
Communicate with the athlete and ask questions. Become familiar with the symptoms and signs of a concussion. Use them to assess athletes suspected of having a concussion. The following 5 questions can be used as a quick assessment of mental function. If an athlete misses an answer to any one of the questions, a concussion should be suspected, the athlete should be removed from play, and a doctor should be consulted to evaluate the athlete.
If you would like more information about the CGH Sports Concussion Program, please fill out the form below or email us here:
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