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How to deal with a concussion

A concussion is a serious head injury that needs to be monitored to lower the odds of its long-term effects. If a Wisconsin athlete suffers a concussion during a game or during a practice, it is recommended that he or she not return to play until at least the next day. In the meantime, it is important that the athlete be monitored and given a neurological exam before returning to action.

The athlete should not be cleared to play until he or she is free from any symptoms. This is for the athlete's safety both now and in the future as it is possible for symptoms to emerge or become worse in the first 10 days after the original injury occurs. Coaches and trainers are urged to look for concussion symptoms anytime an athlete gets hit or looks as if he or she has suffered a head injury.

Studies say that the use of a helmet can protect an athlete against a head injury in an effective manner. However, there is no reason to believe that the use of any particular brand or type of helmet is better than any of the other helmet options that are available. Athletes who play football, rugby and hockey are among the most at risk for a concussion as well as those who play soccer, and both males and females engaging in these activities are susceptible.

A concussion can lead to severe brain injuries, and a person who has sustained one may wish to consult with an attorney if the injury occurred due to the negligence of a third party. A successful personal injury claim against the responsible party could result in the award of damages to cover the costs of medical care and treatment as well as lost wages.

Source: Medscape, "Concussion Treatment & Management", David T. Bernhardt, M.D., Dec. 8, 2014

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