A concussion is a type of brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally functions. Concussions can occur in any athletic activity, as well as from motor vehicle crashes or falls. MedStar Health orthopaedic and sports medicine specialists with expertise in concussion management urge you to have all suspected concussions evaluated—the primary risks of not receiving a medical evaluation may include:
- Increased risk for severe brain injury or even death
- Prolonged symptoms
- Difficulties with schoolwork and other activities
Signs and symptoms of a concussion include
- Appears dazed or stunned
- Answers questions slowly
- Loses consciousness (even briefly)
- Exhibits moody behavior or personality changes
- Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
- Headache or pressure in head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish or foggy
- Concentration or memory problems
- Does not feel “right” or is feeling “down”
Consistent with the Maryland and Washington, D.C., athletic concussion prevention laws, athletes suspected of suffering a concussion should remove themselves or be removed from the game or practice immediately, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear. Continuing to play without medical clearance leaves athletes vulnerable to a more severe brain injury or, rarely, death.
Be aware that symptoms and signs of concussion may not appear immediately after the injury and can take hours or days to fully appear. Because athletes may not report their concussion symptoms, coaches, teammates, and parents need to be educated to recognize them and seek appropriate assistance.
If a concussion is suspected, seek medical attention right away and call a MedStar Sports Medicine athletic trainer at 888.44SPORT (888.447.7678). Athletic trainers are available for free phone consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Baseline Concussion Testing
The MedStar Sports Medicine Concussion Program recommends athletes take a baseline neurocognitive assessment as part of a pre-participation physical exam.
If you play sports, it makes sense to have baseline test results on file in the event of a concussion. The MedStar Sports Medicine Concussion Program uses ImPACT testing, which is a computerized program that evaluates how a brain functions. Baseline test results can be compared to post-injury test results and help clinicians determine the extent of any injuries and when normal activity can be safely resumed.
We are available to administer the baseline testing on-site for groups or teams, and individual testing is conducted in a number of convenient locations throughout the central Maryland and Washington, D.C. regions.
To schedule baseline testing, call 888-44SPORT (888-447-7678).
MedStar Sports Medicine specialists use the results of post-concussion testing to develop an individualized concussion management program to monitor and track your recovery. The post-concussion program provides a state-of-the-art, medically based plan with clear guidelines to support timely and safe return-to-play and appropriate accommodations for school or work.
Make an Appointment
MedStar Sports Medicine Athletic trainers are available for free phone consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information about MedStar Sports Medicine Concussion Program, please call