Concussion Care Begins with Accurate Diagnosis
All it takes is a bump, jolt or sudden shock that rocks the head to cause a concussion, a kind of traumatic brain injury that responds well to treatment if it is detected early.
Most concussions we see are in athletes who play high-contact sports, such as football, soccer or cheerleading, or in car accident victims,” says Damond Blueitt, M.D., a sports medicine specialist with Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and Concussion Center. “Not all concussions cause unconsciousness. Other common symptoms include trouble concentrating, nausea, headaches, mood disorders and sleeping issues.”
Accurate diagnosis is the No. 1 priority of physicians like Dr. Blueitt. Once a concussion is identified, patients can prevent further damage by avoiding trauma and giving the brain a chance to rest and recuperate.
“We take thorough patient histories, perform physical examinations and use neurological testing to identify concussions,” Dr. Blueitt says. “There is nothing to be embarrassed about if you think you may have a concussion, so don’t hide the symptoms. We work closely with the patients’ schools and families to prevent reinjury and get the athletes back to baseline functionality as soon as possible.”
The center also organizes educational programs at local schools to teach athletic trainers how to prevent, identify and address concussions, and how to comply with Natasha’s Law — which requires coaches in Texas to keep students out of the game if there is a potential concussion.
To learn more about Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and its concussion centers, visit TexasHealth.org/BenHogan.