Advice on Diagnosing and Managing Concussion — Physician’s First Watch
Advice on Diagnosing and Managing Concussion
By Joe Elia
With training camps for fall sports just around the corner, it may be worth having a look at a primer on managing concussions from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The author emphasizes that little is known about concussion beyond its dangers. Loss of consciousness is not a hallmark, nor is imaging necessary to establish a diagnosis. Two diagnostic tools, called SCAT3 and ChildSCAT3 (for Sports Concussion Assessment Tool), are available for free.
Having established the diagnosis, the most important management component is rest, both physical and cognitive. Return to activity should be gradual, allowing a transition period of at least a week, and should be medically supervised. If the patient's symptoms last for several months, his or her permanent removal from collision-prone sports should be considered.
Among the bits of advice on primary prevention is this: "Place emphasis on respect for the brain among players, including opponents' brains."