ACH Mahoning Valley clears up concussion questions

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio’s law to ensure a student athlete’s concussion is taken seriously went into effect about a year and a half ago. Doctor Chris Liebig, director of sports medicine at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, said it may hard to detect when a child has a concussion because everyone expects the child to be knocked unconscious.

“Only about 10 percent of kids are going to be knocked out when they get a concussion, only 10 percent. If you are going by that, you’re missing 90 percent,” Liebig said.

Liebig said the first 24 to 48 hours are crucial when it comes to care, and that parents, coaches and athletic trainers need to know what to look for. Some of the warning signs include:

  • Severe or increased headaches
  • Convulsions or severe confusion
  • Bleeding from the ear or nose or clear fluid coming from the same area
  • Increased drowsiness
  • Repeated vomiting

Education is the number one priority for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s new sports medicine program. Liebig says it is important that children get the appropriate screening and follow-up care after an initial doctor or emergency room visit.

“Loss of consciousness is not needed and a head CT or MRI do not diagnose you or rule out or rule in a concussion,” Liebig said. “We look for their symptoms. They will fill out a symptom scale with 22 questions. They will rate it from one to six, and we will use that each time we follow-up with them to see there they stand.”

A balance check is also conducted which may lead to physical therapy, and a neuro-psych evaluation is completed.

“There may be a problem with their vestibular ocular system, meaning the way they can view moving objects or if they are moving their head, how well they can fixate on an object in front of them,” Liebig said.

The neuro-psych evaluation measures how fast a person who has suffered a concussion can react to certain questions including how quickly they get the answer right or wrong.

Most of all, Doctor Liebig suggests urging on the side of caution and sitting an athlete out if any symptoms of a concussion are suspected.

For more information of sports injuries and concussions, click here.

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