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.
According to a 4-year study (2000- 2003) of injuries in lacrosse reported in the February 2007 issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine, high school girls experienced a significantly higher rate of HFE (head, face, and eye) injuries than boys, in part because of a lack of protective equipment. Hopefully, the injury rate for girls will drop now that protective eyewear for girls has become mandatory.
The 2005 rule by US Lacrosse that female lacrosse players wear protective goggles came not a moment too soon. A study in the February 2007 issue of The American Journal Sports Medicine of injuries to high school and collegiate lacrosse players in the 4 year period (2000 to 2003) before the new equipment mandate went into effect discloses that high school girls and college women experienced a significantly higher rate of HFE (head, face, and eye) injuries than boys and college men.