Special Notice - Concussion (Issue 5 2017)

Written on the 24 August 2017

Concussion - Take it seriously

All concussions should be treated seriously. Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help aid recovery and prevent further injury, even death.

The College follows the guidelines established by Sports Medicine Australia and the AFL in the management of concussion and return to play post-concussion.

What is Concussion?
A concussion is a type of brain injury that changes the way the brain normally functions. It can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.

All head injuries MUST be assessed by an appropriate health professional in the first instance and then referred on to a qualified medical practitioner with experience in the field as soon as possible.

Responses, care and treatment
Any person with a knock to the head should be:
  • Immediately removed from the activity
  • Reviewed by the school nurse or first aid person on duty
  • Examined and assessed by a doctor as soon as practicable
  • Continually observed and monitored by a responsible adult-arrangements should be made with parents/guardians/boarding staff/emergency contact to ensure the person is not left alone
  • Woken every 2-3hrs during the night to ensure they are able to be roused easily.
  • Rested quietly from the activity, sport or any kind of training for 48hrs after the last symptom has abated
  • Advised to avoid alcohol and any medication not prescribed by a doctor
  • Encourage to remain well hydrated
  • Prevented from driving a motor vehicle or operating any kind of machinery.

What are Concussion danger signs?
A person should be taken immediately to a doctor if he/she exhibits any of the following danger signs after a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body:

  • Increased drowsiness, difficulty in rousing or loss of consciousness
  • Visual changes- blurred or double vision
  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Persistent headache or neck stiffness
  • Dizziness, weakness anywhere in the body, numbness or decreased coordination
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Fits, convulsions, seizures or spasm of the face or limbs
  • Blood or clear fluid discharge from the ear or nose
  • Cannot recognise people or faces
  • Becomes increasingly confused, irritable, delirious, restless, agitated or slow to answer questions
  • Exhibits unusual or abnormal behaviour.
Return to school and/or activities (such as sport)
  • The person suffering the concussion must have a medically appropriate period of physical and mental rest (called a `brain rest') - this includes avoiding any kind of strenuous activity such as sport, including PE, and training sessions but also includes activities that require mental concentration - e.g. Computer use, television, texting and video games.
  • The person suffering the concussion must not play any kind of competitive sport or engage in physically demanding activities for at least 7 calendar days.
  • All students who have been concussed and wish to return to activity, sport or training must be symptom free for 48 hours.

If you have any questions, please direct them to the College Nurse.

Fiona Rixon
WHS Coordinator (Middle School)

 

 

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