Concussions Affect One in Ten High School Athletes

09/08/2014

(Bangor, Maine) - All concussions are serious, and anytime one is suspected, high school athletes should be kept out of the game until they are cleared by a medical professional. That’s the message EMMC Sports Health medical director Stephen Thompson, MD, Med, FRCSC is asking parents, coaches, and athletes to keep in mind going into the fall sports season.

“A concussion can occur anytime an athlete receives a jolt or hit to the head or another part of the body,” says Dr. Thompson. “One in ten high school athletes who play contact sports will suffer a concussion during the upcoming sports season. Concussions happen in all contact sports but are most common in football and soccer.”

Symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, balance problems, confusion, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, slow reactions, and behavioral changes. According to JP Stowe, ATC, an athletic trainer at EMMC Sports Health, providing ongoing education about the common signs of concussion and what to do if one occurs is key to reducing their effect.

“Through EMMC Sports Health, I will be providing athletic training services at Orono High School and injury clinics at other local schools,” he says. “I’m excited about this opportunity to talk to the athletes and everyone who supports them about concussion. I will be available as a resource to anyone who has questions.”

Dr. Thompson advises coaches and parents to immediately remove an athlete from participation if a concussion is suspected and refer the athlete to a healthcare provider for evaluation and clearance to return to the playing field. Fortunately, most athletes who have a concussion recover with physical and mental rest.

“Half of all concussions go undetected or unreported,” adds Dr. Thompson. “By becoming aware of what to look out for and what should be done if a concussion is suspected, everyone involved with high school sports can help ensure the safety of all athletes.”

For concussion management tips and to connect with EMMC Sports Health experts about customized concussion education programs, visit sports.emmc.org, e-mail sports@emhs.org, or call 973-9980.