What is a concussion?
A change in mental state -- confusion, dizziness, loss of
consciousness -- brought about when the brain slams against
the sides of the skull.
What causes it?
A blow to the head, face or jaw, or a whiplash effect on the
Are all concussions the same?
No. There are two degrees of the injury:
First degree - sensation of a bell being rung, involves
no loss of consciousness. Confusion might follow. If symptoms
persist, then the concussion is considered second-degree.
Even in first degree, though, a player should be referred
to a doctor.
Second degree - if no loss of consciousness, second
degree considered when symptoms of a first-degree concussion
last longer than 15 minutes. The player must be referred to
a doctor, and may need to be hospitalized.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms vary according to the kind and severity of the injury,
but here are some of the more common ones:
- "bell rung"
- dizziness/feeling light-headed
- vacant stare
- seeing stars or lights
- delayed response to questions
- confused and easily distracted
- slurred speech
- poor co-ordination
- nausea, vomiting