There are hundreds if not thousands of hits on any given weekend in football that will result in concussions across the football landscape, many go unnoticed, except by the trained medical staff (mainly athletic trainers); certainly we see a very limited number on national TV. However last week Robert Woods of USC was drilled in the head while blocking that resulted in OVERT signs of brain trauma. Before we go further we should define what a concussion is, in its simplest terms:
- A concussion, at the very base level, is a pathological event that results from forces to the brain that cause disruption of normal brain activity. These “disruptions” can occur immediately or in a delayed response. Regardless, any disruption of normal physical, cognitive or emotional behavior would fit this criteria.
The new standard of care for concussions across all levels is that if someone exhibits signs of a concussion they should be removed from play for a proper evaluation. If there is no one there to do a proper evaluation (see youth and HS levels) then that player may not be returned to the game and cannot return to sport without a medical clearance from a physician.
As I have stated many a time most evaluations on the sideline are either a case of detective work – weeding through the subjective nature of the injury – or not needed because of the overt signs and clinical presentation. I say this as an expert, one who deals with concussions in sport on almost a daily basis. Observation is the most trusted source for concussion detection; whether it be observation Continue reading