ACC Concussion Guidelines

Definition

A concussion is well-defined as a traumatic injury to the brain or an intense shaking of the body that changes brain functionality. This kind of injury is prone to individuals who take part in sporting activities. It is a serious injury that may lead to death if not properly treated. A concussion is acquired when one is hit hard on any part of the body.

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Signs and symptoms

The most common sign of a concussion is a loss of consciousness. An individual may also lie on the ground for a while and not be able to move or respond when he/she is being addressed. If there is no direct loss of consciousness, one may be unable to maintain balance or any other body coordination. One may also have convulsions or even vomit. An injury may be seen where the blow impacted. Symptoms of concussions include experiences of confusion, dizziness, nausea, pain in the neck, irritability, drowsiness, and blurred vision among others. It is imperative to alert the medical officers of a possible concussion when any of the mentioned symptoms are observed.

Actions to be employed in the event of a concussion

There are preliminary steps that one can take if someone suffers a concussion at any sporting event or other related activity. These are precautionary and remedial steps that have been recommended by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and several New Zealand sports organizations’ websites. The steps can also be applied before a person suffers a concussion to make sure that the event does not occur. Overall, these stipulated steps are required to follow by all officers involved in any sporting event to be vigilant while undertaking their mandate.

Precautionary steps

Firstly, the corporation advises that those in charge should take extra care, especially when dealing with adolescents and smaller children. They also recommend that once a person suffers a concussion, they should not be allowed to play even after they have recovered. They should only do that on the next day after being confirmed fit to play again. Also, the corporation directs that any person who suffers a concussion should be examined by medical practitioners who are fully certified to make sure correct treatment is given.

Recognize and remove

Officers in charge are required to be able to know when a potential concussion situation occurs. In most instances, this may involve taking the individual away from the field so that they may not suffer from more injuries. Therefore, it calls upon all medical and non-medical personnel that work within the sporting environment and other related places to have adequate knowledge about this kind of injury. They should be able to know symptoms, causes, and the way they can be treated. As they continue to be aware of the dangers of having a concussion, they should undertake some vigilante actions to outwatch players hurt. This enables them to be on the spot when a concussion is about to take place and rescue the players by taking them away from the field.

Since only non-medical officers are mostly available on the pitch, they are advised to alert the medical practitioners in case they suspect that a concussion has taken place. This will allow the medical staff to deal with the situation immediately. Those in charge of the players are also advised to take extra precautions. It is a general rule that the player should not return to the game on the day that they suffer the concussion, but sometimes this may be more than that. In case they suspect that the player has not fully recovered from the concussion, they are advised not to involve them in the matches the team takes part in.

It is also a general rule that those in charge of the sporting activity are to make sure that there are medical practitioners or facilities located close to where the games are played. These can be concussion clinics, local medical doctors, emergency departments, and ambulance services.

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Helping concussion patients

There exist steps that should be employed when non-medical practitioners fail to prevent a concussion. They are geared towards helping patients and making sure that the injuries are minimized. The very first step that should be carried out is the application of the first aid to the patient. The corporation and other major sports websites give a four-step guideline on how this should be done. They are referred to as Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing, and Circulation (DRC). This means that the first thing is to identify the danger before trying to prevent it. If one is not able to stop, the people in charge should make sure that they provide an airway. This is done by ensuring that the person is given free space and enough air and preventing people from crowding around the patient.

Also, the corporation advises that in the event of a concussion, one should be considered to be having a neck injury. This is important because there is a high chance that he has one. If care is not taken, serious damage can be caused to the patient and may even lead to death. If a person is unconscious, nobody except medical practitioners should be allowed to move the patient. They should carry out this by using spinal immobilization gadgets and techniques. If a person is suspected to have serious injuries to his head or neck, they should immediately be rushed to the hospital. The same should be applied to an individual who does not seem to be improving after they have received treatment, especially those who have lost consciousness and have persistent confusion.

Assessment by medical practitioners

Only a medical practitioner can correctly examine a serious concussion. They will find out the extent of the damage and the steps that can be taken to prevent further harm. The corporation provides a tool called the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool version three, which is used in case of the correct diagnosis and treatment of a concussion by a medical practitioner.

Once a person has recovered from a concussion, there are a few precautions that they are expected to follow. For starters, they should make sure they minimize the number of activities to take part in. This includes their interactions with any form of modern technology. They should only do very light exercises that do not need resistance, and they ought to avoid any exercises or activities that include the impact on the head. Resuming regular activities, including playing, is possible after one is completely cured by certified medical practitioners.

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