Because of the risk to youth and high school athletes of suffering a
second potentially fatal brain injury before the brain has healed from
the initial injury - a condition called second impact syndrome - Dr.
Cantu advises against allowing such athletes to return to play in the
same game or practice after experiencing post-concussion signs or
Dr. Robert Cantu says that while there is debate about the importance
of grading concussions, he sees value, especially where an athlete has
suffered multiple concussions and where the grading is done after the
signs and symptoms have cleared.
A concussion Is defined as trauma (e.g. usually but
not always a blow to the head, face or neck) which causes the brain to collide with the
skull. A "concussion" is
derived from the Latin concutere, meaning to shake violently. It is
also often referred to as an MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury).
Dr. Robert Cantu says it is extremely important that parents and athletes recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
Not only do athletes need to self-report symptoms, says Dr. Cantu, but
they should let the coaching and medical staff know if a teammate is experiencing symptoms. It just might save his life.
Regular post-concussion monitoring is essential in the first 24 to 48 hours after injury to check for signs of deteriorating mental status that may indicate a more serious injury, says Dr. Robert Cantu.