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Concussions can happen in many sports played by a range of people but, they occur most commonly in sports that involve the contact of players colliding into one another. Concussions can be very serious injuries as they can affect the brain greatly and this can result in players been unable to play the contact sport again in case of serious lifelong damage to the persons brain and the research also goes on to look at necessary preventions, effects such as short and long term effects, and find out more about what concussion is.
The focus question of this research task is “What are the affects and prevention on concussion?”
Being someone who plays a lot of sport and has played contact sports before in younger years as well as watching many contact sports on the television or watching it live I have witnessed many sports players have head injuries on the sports field and they range from being very minor to very major head injuries so therefore I am very interested to find out more about the effects, dangers and preventions for these head injuries.
The word concussion is a Latin word that means a violent shaking or jarring of the brain, caused by a blow or a fall, which usually results to loss of consciousness which can also result in memory loss. Concussions can happen in many sports played by a range of people but they occur most commonly in sports that involve the contact of players colliding into one another. Concussions can be very serious as they can affect the brain greatly and this can result in players been unable to play the contact sport again in case of serious lifelong damage to the person’s brain.
Dr. Jon Patricios (2015) defines concussion as a “traumatic brain injury resulting from a direct or indirect blow to the head causing alterations in the brain function.” Patricios (2015) explains concussion as being a complex pathophysiological process that my affect the person in a number of ways such as physically, emotionally, cognitively and can also cause sleep disturbances. Patricios (2015) states that when the evaluation of a concussed player takes place it involves subjective symptom reporting which includes physical, cognitive and neurological testing, they also take a further look at the players physiological signs and more objective measures are then done looking at the neurological and cognitive function. Patricios (2015) tells us that rugby is a collision sport where players are involved in a lot of contact on the rugby field where players are involved on head collisions and this is most often caused by the tackle. Patricios (2015) describes rugby as a continuous, multiple sprint, un-helmeted impact sport at which players collide with one another while they wear limited protective gear to help prevent harmful collisions.
Melinda Kelly (2000) discusses in her article, when it is safe for a player who has sustained a concussion to return to play, she says that these are difficult judgments that sports physicians and athletic trainers have to make and if they make an incorrect judgment it can lead to a permanent change in the players cognitive status or could even lead to a serious threatening secondary injury. According to the International Conference on Concussion in Sport, that took place in Vienna (2001), Prague (2004), Zurich (2008), when a concussion is sustained by a player a qualified healthcare provider must evaluate the player before the player returns to play. They say that the player may return to play after the player is said to be completely free of all symptoms and remain free during and after a physical test has been done. But even after symptoms have disappeared the healing of the brain may not be totally complete and they have stated that neurocognitive testing can help to determine how the brain is functioning and by comparing this test with a baseline test it will allow for an evaluation to be done so that future risk can be avoided.
John W. Powell (2001) tells us about the preventions of concussions and he says that it has become the task of the injury prevention teams to work on ways to limit the number of injuries in sports and he said “Using regulatory controls, educating participants, designed specialized protective products, and monitoring the injury frequency patterns through ongoing surveillance programs,” and this will help to prevent the amount of concussions that may occur amongst athletes, but first the program must focus on the rules and regulations of the games because it is said that the sport must meet the standards of injury prevention.
Dr. Jon Pateicios (2005) states that there is no good evidence that headgear and a mouth guard worn in rugby will prevent concussion, but mouth guards however have been tested and have been said to play a big role in reducing incidence of orofacial injuries and he states that they are highly recommended to those playing rugby. Patricios (2005) tells us about and issue of “Risk compensation” that players have and he goes on to state that “Inappropriate and more aggressive behavior change on the rugby field as a result of a false sense of security when wearing rugby headgear,” and because of this there is a increase in injury rates. Patricios (2005) lastly says that risk reduction is best achieved through good conditioning, correct tackle techniques and through players being constantly updated on the laws of rugby.
Melinda Kelley (2000) refers to a study that was done by Dr. Michael Collins on the effects that a concussion has on higher brain function. Collins examined the effects of concussion on neurophysiological performance in college football players from 1997 to 1999. Kelley (2000) states that Collins accessed players’ cognitive abilities and did a number of standard physiological tests at the beginning of the players season and then the players who received one or more concussions were tested again and these players showed a decrease in scores on cognitive tests. Kelley (2000) stated that Collins’ in his research made an even scarier discovery, and that was that players experiencing concussions who have learning disabilities prior to their concussions are affected more than those not dealing with learning disabilities. Collins went on to say that a “red flag” needs to be raised to parents whose children want to get involved in a contact sport and have been diagnosed with a learning disability, given the potential that they may face long-term impacts of this participation on their cognitive abilities.
In conclusion, Dr. Jon Patricios (2005) explains that concussion still remains an area of concern in contact and collision sports due to the immediate and long-term effects it may cause. Patricios (2005) states that the Rugby Union has not only adopted international consensus guidelines but they have customized them and implemented these guidelines across all levels of the game to protect the players playing the game of rugby. Malinda Kelley (2000) explains that concussions, whether manifested on a few minor symptoms or a number of serious consequences, it is still a traumatic brain injury that a player can face, and therefore she says it must be taken very seriously by players, parents, and health professionals. According to Kelley (2000) it is clear that concussions can have long-lasting and even permanent impacts on a player’s mental function and people with learning disabilities are unfortunately susceptible to these effects. Kelley (2000) finally states that if players and management of sports stick to guidelines.
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