According to the Center of Disease Control, a concussion is "A type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth."
US Soccer defines concussions as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces. Several common features that incorporate
- Concussion 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.
- Concussion typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously.
- Concussion may result in neuropathological changes, but the acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than structural injury.
- Concussion results in a graded set of clinical syndromes that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical and cognitive symptoms typically follows a sequential course.
- Concussion is typically associated with grossly normal structural neuroimaging studies.
Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. So, all coaches, parents, and athletes need to learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.
US Soccer and the Center for Disease Control has implemented the "HEAD'S UP" initiative in regards to concussions for National team players. This information is so important that the EGSL is providing the information directly from the US Soccer website so that players, parents and coaches can be better informed on the signs and symptoms of possible concussions.
League games are not more important than player safety and the EGSL encourages ALL players, parents and coaches to know the signs and symptoms thru education.
Below are several links that should be reviewed by ALL participants.
FROM THE CENTER OF DISEASE CONTROL:
There is so much information on the CDC website that can help every player, parent and/or coach in understanding concussions.
FROM US SOCCER:
The links below are from the US Soccer website. The subject lines below are very important for players, parents and coaches. The EGSL recommends printing the pdfs off of the US Soccer website, reading the information and keeping it handy in case of a potential concussion situation.
There is also an app for your smart phone that can be downloaded that is provided by the CDC called "HEADS UP CONCUSSION" https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/heads-up-app/id668188486. This application is full of information that you can keep with you if you need a quick reference to signs and symptoms, danger signs, etc. It's a FREE application that you hopefully never need but if you do, you're prepared!
You can never be too cautious when it comes to potential concussions. Err on the side of caution and safety when head injuries occur. Remember the player is more important than the game and the player may not always be in the right frame of mind to decide if they are capable of re-entering the game after a head injury.
More information can be found at www.ussoccer.com > sports medicine OR http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports