Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s head injuries repeatedly has led to concussion debatesHere’s the facts about the injury.
Did you be aware that concussions are an example of traumatic brain injury?
Following Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken to a hospital on September. 29, after his skull was smashed into the ground during a game against Cincinnati Bengals — the second head injury he suffered in just four days, the treatment and evaluation of head injuries sparked an international debate on the best way to handle concussions, as per multiple reports.
About 7% of children are suffering from symptoms of concussions or a brain injury during their lives.
The risk of developing the disease grows with the age of one increasing from 2% for those aged five and less to approximately 12% for adolescents aged 12-17 according to National Center for Health Statistics.
A total of 29% of adult self-reported having concussions throughout their lives according to a new research study.
This article will provide a deeper understanding of the subject.
What exactly is concussion?
“A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (or mild TBI),” said Dr. Mitul Kapadia, medical director of rehabilitation for children as well as co-director for the sport concussions program within UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco.
“It happens when a blow to the head or an injury makes the head move back and forth with a lot of force,” the doctor said.
“Patients who have experienced a concussion show a complex range of neuronal and metabolic changes, and the mechanism of injury is likely associated with shearing of nerves.”
He said on Fox News Digital that this triggers chemical changes in the brain, and can cause damage to brain cells.
“Patients who have experienced a concussion show a complex range of neuronal and metabolic changes, and the mechanism of injury is likely associated with shearing of nerves,” said doctor. Oren Gottfried, professor of neurosurgery and clinical vice-chair in the neurosurgery department in Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Consciousness loss is not an essential requirement to establish the diagnosis of a concussion however, a concussion may be graded as moderate, light or severe, based on the length of time that a person is conscious and memory loss, also known as amnesia that is persistent after the injury, as per various reports.
Concussion symptoms and signs
The symptoms perceived by patients can differ between “just not feeling right” or “feeling down” to having headaches, blurred vision, difficulty in concentrating as well as feeling dizzy or unsteady, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The signs are what an observer like an athlete or parent observes.
Signs include being confused, looking stunned responding to questions in a slow manner having personality changes, being unable to follow instructions.
“The Concussion in Sport Group has outlined the signs and symptoms below as ‘red flags,’ meaning that if an athlete experiences/displays them, they should be transported to a hospital — these signs/symptoms can indicate an injury more severe than concussion,” said Dr. Steve Broglio, director of the University of Michigan Concussion Center.
He noted the symptoms as neck tenderness or pain as well as double vision as well as numbness. worsening headache, seizure convulsions vomiting, or becoming anxious, restless or aggressive.
When is the right time to seek medical attention?
“The single biggest thing is to remove any athlete from play who is suspected of having a concussion until that person can be evaluated by a licensed medical provider,” Broglio explained to Fox News Digital.
If parents believe their child might have suffered a concussion the CDC suggests first removing the child from playing and keeping them off the field during the time of injury, and then taking the teen to be evaluated by a medical professional.
“A health care professional will inquire about the details of the injury and also perform a comprehensive physical exam to determine whether further workup is needed.”
“As a neurosurgeon who treats head injuries, I would recommend that anyone who has suffered a trauma resulting in any period of loss of consciousness that is witnessed — or if they were alone and are vague or confused on the details of the injury — to get assessed by a doctor in urgent care, [be seen] in the [emergency department], or [make a] same-day visit to your physician,” Gottfried said to Fox News Digital.
“Also, anyone who did not have any loss of consciousness but has persistent symptoms including headaches, neurological [issues] or any of the [symptoms] associated with post-concussive syndrome needs to be assessed,” he said.
When is it safe to go back to the game?
A health specialist will ask about the specifics of the injury. They will also take a thorough physical exam to determine if additional treatment is required, Gottfried noted.
“The provider has the training to fully evaluate the athlete and decide if they can return or not,” Broglio said.
Washington was the first state to mandate an “removal and clearance for Return to Play” for young athletes in the month of May 2009and now, each state in the union has similar law, as per the CDC.
Who should have the CT scan?
Once a patient has been assessed by a doctor, the health professional might decide to request an CT scan of the patient.
“A CT scan of the brain takes pictures to create images of the brain and can show if there’s a fracture or bleeding,” Kapadia explained to Fox News Digital.
Not all patients who are examined will need an CT or MRI according to a medical professional. However, only a doctor who has experience with head injuries is required to decide on this. (iStock)
“A CT scan cannot show if you have a concussion — and [these scans] are not routinely ordered for concussions unless a doctor has concern for a fracture or bleed.”
Gottfried stated that not all who is assessed will need the use of a CT or MRI however only a specialist with experience with head injuries is required to take this step.
Be on the lookout for any symptoms and signs
The signs of a concussion usually are evident immediately following the injury, but the symptoms don’t appear until a few hours later, as per the CDC.
The agency suggests the monitoring of symptoms of concussions shortly after the injury, and then for several days afterward. If the symptoms are getting worse, the patient must be taken to an emergency department as soon as possible.
What is the second impact syndrome?
Concussions must be handled appropriately, as the initial injury can reduce the brain’s “resilience” and alters its capacity to adapt, Gottfried said.
However, a second trauma on the head that occurs before brains have had the chance to fully recover can cause death in some cases. “Second impact syndrome (SIS), also known as repetitive head injury syndrome, occurs when an individual experiences a second head injury before complete recovery from an initial head injury,” Gottfried stated.
“The most common scenario is in athletes who suffer a concussion and return to their sport too early.”
Certain factors may also hinder the healing process following a concussion like a previous concussion, neurological issues as well as learning issues or mental health issues.
He also noted that a subset of people have a genetic predisposition to an overactive reaction to concussions as well as secondary injury.
A variety of factors can delay the healing process following a concussion for example, a prior concussion, neurological disorder and learning issues or mental health issuesin addition to stressors in the family or at social levels according to the CDC.
“The catastrophic second impact injury results from the loss of normal regulation of blood flow to the brain, leading to massive brain swelling,” Gottfried said.
“The rise in pressure is rapid and can even result in brain herniation and death.”
NFL changes its protocol for concussions
The NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) have agreed to change the concussion protocols of the league following the repeated head injuries last month.
“Following the complete review, the parties concluded that while the step-by-step process outlined in the Concussion Protocol was followed, the outcome in this case was not what was intended when the protocol was drafted,” an official joint statement by the NFL-NFLPA stated.
The protocol for concussions will add the symptom “ataxia” to “no-go” symptoms. In this case, a player is not allowed to returning to play and receive follow-up care as per the protocol in case the player is found to have this disorder.
It is defined as ataxia “as [the] abnormality of balance/stability, motor coordination or dysfunctional speech caused by a neurological issue.”