Mahaska Health Partnership Educates on Concussion Awareness

Mahaska Health Partnership

MAHASKA COUNTY – For parents with student athletes, concussions continue to be a major concern. Mahaska Health Partnership Family Practice Physician Case Everett, MD, encourages adults working with children to learn the signs and symptoms of concussions and the best course of treatment.

According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a hit to the head or body that makes the brain move quickly back and forth. “A hard blow to the head or the body can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in your head, causing chemical changes and possibly damage brain cells,” Dr. Everett explained. “Even what may seem like a ‘light’ hit can cause a concussion.

“It’s important for athletes in any sport who have had major contact and are at risk for a concussion to avoid play until examined by a trained healthcare professional; it’s better to sit out of one game than miss an entire season due to a traumatic brain injury.”

Dr. Everett explained that student athletes are especially vulnerable to severe consequences with untreated concussions. “Teens may not realize that feeling ‘off’ or ‘down’ can be a sign of a concussion. Teaching them what to look for, as well as training staff to watch for signs and symptoms can help students recover quickly and safely.”

For students, they may feel headaches or pressure, nausea, have blurry vision or balance problems. “Symptoms are not always consistent with each individual,” Dr. Everett explained. “Someone with a concussion may struggle with dizziness, have sensitivity to light or noise, or simply feel sluggish and struggle with memory problems, concentration and confusion.

“Externally, parents and coaches should watch for confusion, forgetfulness, delayed responses to questions, dazed or stunned appearance or clumsiness. If the athlete lost consciousness, is weak, numb or uncoordinated, has unusual behavior, is drowsy, has slurred speech, seizures or cannot recognize people or places, seek immediate medical attention.”

If an athlete has a concussion, he or she needs to give their brain time to heal. “It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid contact until fully healed,” Dr. Everett urged. “Athletes are more likely to suffer another concussion while recovering from one, which can increase their recovery time and potentially cause permanent or serious brain damage.

“Any suspected concussion should be reviewed by a medical professional, who can then determine the length of healing time required before it’s safe to participate in contact sports again. Rest is key and return to normal activities including time in the classroom or in front of a computer should be minimized until symptoms have disappeared.

“While most athletes can recover quickly and fully, it’s important to ensure they get the rest and recovery time necessary before activities resume.”

Family Practice Physician Case Everett, MD, practices fulltime at the MHP Medical Group, providing primary care to all ages and also delivering babies. Dr. Everett is originally from New Sharon and is passionate about serving his home community. Dr. Everett chose Family Practice with obstetrics because he knew there was a need for obstetrical providers in rural Iowa and wanted to provide an all-encompassing medical practice to his patients. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Everett in Oskaloosa, call 641.672.3360.

Dr. Everett also sees patients on Wednesday afternoons in New Sharon. To schedule an appointment with him at New Sharon Medical Center, call 641.637.2651.

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Posted by on Oct 15 2017. Filed under Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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