Concussions Can Lead To Brain Tumors

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Ok folks here we go again and today’s topic is one of great importance. The NFL reported a story on former Browns running back Jerome Harrison and how Harrison is suffering from post tumor seizures. The story as told by Browns WR Joshua Cribbs said that the tumor was brought on due to concussion/s that Harrison was a victim of in his short time in the NFL. This not only lead Cribbs’ wife to ask him to walk away from the game but also sends out a warning sign to all those players out there that fake symptoms or beg to go back into a game after a “big hit” to the head. I have seen many instances where a player either said they were ok or faked their way through a concussion test just to continue playing. The severity of a concussion is of one I was a little blind to until this point, but after reading this story I will never argue with a ref that tells me allayed cannot come back into the game after a hit they deem harmful to the players safety. I urge every coach that may come across this or anyone that has the power to sit a player if something like this happens please take all precautions not for today but for the rest of their lifetime.if the rules are good enough for the NFL than they are good enough for all levels of play.

Concussion

Last reviewed: January 30, 2012.

A concussion is a minor traumatic brain injury (TBI) that may occur when the head hits an object, or a moving object strikes the head.

It can affect how your brain works for a while. A concussion can lead to a bad headache, changes in alertness, or loss of consciousness.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

A concussion can result from a fall, sports activities, and car accidents. A big movement of the brain (called jarring) in any direction can cause you to lose alertness (become unconscious). How long you stay unconscious may be a sign of the severity of the concussion.

However, concussions don’t always involve a loss of consciousness. Most people who have a concussion never pass out, but they may describe seeing all white, black, or stars. You can have a concussion and not realize it.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a concussion can range from mild to severe. They can include:

Acting confused, feeling spacey, or not thinking straight

Being drowsy, hard to wake up, or similar changes

Headache

Loss of consciousness

Memory loss (amnesia) of events before the injury or right after

Nausea and vomiting

Seeing flashing lights

Feeling like you have “lost time”

The following are emergency symptoms of a concussion. Seek immediate medical care if there are:

Changes in alertness and consciousness

Convulsions (seizures)

Muscle weakness on one or both sides

Persistent confusion

Remaining unconsciousness (coma)

Repeated vomiting

Unequal pupils

Unusual eye movements

Walking problems

Head injuries that cause a concussion often occur with injury to the neck and spine. Take special care when moving people who have had a head injury.

While recovering from a concussion, you may:

Be withdrawn, easily upset, or confused

Have a hard time with tasks that require remembering or concentrating

Have mild headaches

Be less tolerant of noise

Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and check your nervous system. There may be changes in your pupil size, thinking ability, coordination, and reflexes.

Tests that may be performed include:

EEG (brain wave test) may be needed if seizures continue

Head CT scan

MRI of the head

Treatment

A more serious brain injury that involves bleeding or brain damage must be treated in a hospital.

Healing or recovering from a concussion takes time. It may take days, weeks, or even months for a child’s condition to improve. Parents and caregivers must learn how to treat the child’s symptoms, how to monitor for problems, and when to allow the child to return to normal activities.

Expectations (prognosis)

Healing or recovering from a concussion takes time.

It may take days, weeks, or even months.

You may be irritable, have trouble concentrating, be unable to remember things, have headaches, dizziness, and blurry vision.

These problems will probably go away slowly. You may want to get help from family or friends before making important decisions.

Complications

Long-term problems are rare but may include:

Brain swelling (which can be life threatening), if you have a second concussion while still recovering from the first one

Long-term changes in the brain (if you have future brain injuries)

Symptoms of the concussion stay for a long period of time (in a small group of patients)

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if a head injury causes changes in alertness or produces any other worrisome symptoms.

If symptoms do not go away or are not improving after 2 or 3 weeks, talk to your doctor.

Call the doctor if the following symptoms occur:

Changes in behavior or unusual behavior

Changes in speech (slurred, difficult to understand, does not make sense)

Confusion

Difficulty waking up or becoming more sleepy

Double vision or blurred vision

Fever

Fluid or blood leaking from the nose or ears

Headache that is getting worse, lasts a long time, or does not get better with over-the-counter pain relievers

Problems walking or talking

Seizures (jerking your arms or legs without control)

Vomiting more than three times

Prevention

Although you can’t entirely prevent injuries in children, parents can take some simple steps to keep their children from getting head injuries.

To prevent head injuries in adults:

Always use safety equipment during activities that could cause a head injury. These include seat belts, bicycle or motorcycle helmets, and hard hats.

Learn and follow bicycle safety recommendations.

Do NOT drink and drive. Do NOT allow yourself to be driven by someone who you know or suspect has been drinking alcohol or is otherwise impaired.

References

Ropper AH, Gorson KC. Clinical practice: concussion. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:166-172.
Hunt T, Asplund C. Concussion assessment and management. Clin Sports Med. 2009;5-17.
Biros MH, Heegard WG. Head injury. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 38.
Review Date: 1/30/2012.

Reviewed by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

Thank You

Coach Dykes

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