May 08, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Minor concussion is a term often used by people. It isn’t one we hear so much from the medical profession any more though as we come to the understanding that any brain damage is serious and can have long term impacts. We also know that a serious of concussions is even more dangerous to the long term well being of an individual. Regardless of how a concussion is sustained we must consider it as brain damage.
While most people recover quickly from their first TBI (traumatic brain injury or concussion) some do not. Brian damage is unpredictable. Some people fall into comas and recover well, while others who suffer seemingly mild bumps to their head and keep going develop serious injuries within hours that indicate long term permanent brain damage. A second concussion in a short time span may be catastrophic.
Dr. Anne Crowe, Waterloo, recently wrote to the Kitchener Record advocating safety for children in light of what we know today about brain damage. She is a family physician and rehabilitation hospitalist and offers her opinion that,
“All sports have some risk of injury, but head injuries can have devastating, lifelong impacts. I recommend to parents that children avoid contact sports — particularly boxing, football, rugby and hockey. Soccer is better but avoid "heading" the ball. Good choices are baseball, track and field and swimming. Any child who has a concussion should consider switching to a safer sport immediately.:
Children and teens in particular should be careful not to suffer from second impact syndrome which can result in serious impairment or death. This usually results from repeated TBI in sports in short order. Often the TBI is minor and may not even have been noted or medically treated. Sequential TBI can cause a cascading failure in the brain.
Second Impact syndrome is defined as:
(SIS) occurs when the brain swells rapidly, and catastrophically, after a person suffers asecond concussion before symptoms from an earlier one have subsided. This second blow may occur minutes, days or weeks after an initial concussion, and even the mildest grade of concussion can lead to SIS. (Wikipedia)
Tareg Bey, MD and Brian Ostick MD state in their article “Second Impact Syndrome”,
Typically, it (SIS) involves an athlete suffering post-concussive symptoms following a head injury.2 If, within several weeks, the athlete returns to play and sustains a second head injury, diffuse cerebral swelling, brain herniation, and death can occur. SIS can occur with any two events involving head trauma. While rare, it is devastating in that young, healthy patients may die within a few minutes. Emergency physicians should be aware of this syndrome and counsel patients and their parents concerning when to allow an athlete to return to play.
Any athlete, or person with a concussion, should not be allowed to return to play. If there is any doubt to someone’s health following a blow to the head or body, or concussion, they should seek emergency medical care.