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Concussions - Time is of the Essence!

The talk on concussions is more prevalent now than ever (for a good reason). Every year, many concussions go undetected and up to half of all concussions were not reported. We commonly talk about concussions in the context of contact and high speed sports. However, the reality is, concussions can happen at any time - from falling at the playground, accidentally hitting your head against a tree branch, or tripping and falling at work.

If there is a suspected concussion, here is what you need to do:

  • Remove any risk for further injuries. For instance, pull the player off the field, remove the child from the playground, or avoid having the injured person sitting in the middle of a busy pathway.
  • Close observation for “red flags” in the first 24 to 48 hours after a concussion is very important. “Red flags” are signs of potentially more serious or life-threatening conditions. See below for a list. If there are signs of deterioration or if you are unsure, take them to the emergency department immediately.
  • Make an appointment immediately. If you are concussed, you need to have a full and thorough evaluation by a healthcare practitioner with training in concussion within 2 days of the injury. Early assessment, treatment and rehabilitation can help you get back to work, play, or doing the things that you love doing.
  • The first 48 hours after concussion:

  • Do not go to sleep for at least 3 hours after the concussion. If you are the one watching the injured person, continue to talk to them and monitor for signs of deterioration.
  • After 3 hours, the concussed person can take a nap or go to sleep. Check on the injured person every 2 hours throughout the first night. They don’t have to be woken up, but make sure they are still breathing and seem okay.
  • Do not take any pain medication before consulting a medical doctor. Medications can “mask” the signs of a worsening condition and some can also increase the possibility of a brain bleed.
  • The Physio Space as a clinic affiliated with the global Complete Concussion Management network, we have physiotherapists trained in assessing and treating concussions. If you would like to make an appointment or obtain more information, you can reach us at 02 4861 1223 or at info@thephysiospace.com.au

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