Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a traumatic brain injury induced by biomechanical forces. Several common features that may be utilized in clinically defining the nature of a concussive head injury include:
- May be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head.
- Typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously. However, in some cases, signs and symptoms evolve over a number of minutes to hours.
- May result in neuro-pathological changes, but the acute clinical signs and symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury and, as such, no abnormality is seen on standard structural neuroimaging studies.
- Results in a range of clinical signs and symptoms that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical and cognitive features typically follows a sequential course. However, in some cases symptoms may be prolonged.
A student’s best chance of full recovery from a concussion involves two critical components: cognitive and physical rest within the first 72 hours post-injury.
Continued research has shown cognitive rest to be essential in the quick resolution of concussion symptoms. Cognitive stimulation includes: driving, playing video games, computer use, text messaging, cell phone use, loud and/or bright environments, watching television, reading, and studying. These stimuli must be limited, and in most cases, completely avoided for a period of time during recovery.
Physical activity such as physical education, athletics, and strength or cardiovascular conditioning must be completely avoided or regulated while recovering from a concussion. It is recommended that this protocol be shared with the student’s primary care physician (licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, e.g. pediatrician) as soon as possible.
Stevenson’s Concussion Care Protocol
Concussion Resources from the IHSA
Concussion Academic Accommodations Form