When I saw the tweet from Greg Rosenthal yesterday “
@greggrosenthal The NFL should fine coaches for the use of the term “mild concussion.” All I could think of was this post.
Originally posted in 2010
There is NOTHING mild about a concussion, period. However media, teams, players and even medical staffs continue to use this nomenclature with this injury. It is simply counterproductive to label this injury with a “mild” tag, and hampers the effort of everyone trying to increase awareness.
Granted, those that have extensive training in the area of injuries, and particularly head injuries, understand the term “mild” when it is in concert with concussion. This subset of the population is not the one that needs the education, rather it is the general public, which includes players, coaches and parents. A common problem amongst people who are educated in a particular field is that they forget about both who they are servicing and the education level of people other than their peers. It’s a fine balance to educate without talking down to others, but understanding the stigmas of the topics help with that effort.
One serious stigma is the “mild” tag that is placed on concussions. Those that watch and participate in sports are so used to using that clarification when assessing and addressing injuries as a whole, that perhaps it carries over to the traumatic brain injury just sustained by the athlete. We as athletic trainers and doctors need to reassess how we describe this particular injury.
During my public speaking I often relate being “mildly” concussed to being “mildly” pregnant… You are either concussed or not, just like you are pregnant or not.
Some may say that “the symptoms are mild”, or that the “prognosis of the injury is mild”, in terms of being sidelined. The first may be correct the second is a slap in the face of those that study and deal with concussions on a daily basis. So the symptoms are mild; no headache, slight vision issues, just “foggy”… SO WHAT!!! The insult to the brain that occurred has created a problem, Continue reading