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Concussion Care

If you or a loved one receives a blow or even a bump to the head – whether due to sports or an accident – trust Avera’s concussion program to provide prompt diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care needed to avoid ongoing symptoms, brain damage or possibly death.

What are Signs of a Concussion?

A concussion can be difficult to diagnose. Signs and symptoms may show up immediately after the injury, or may not appear or be noticed until weeks after the injury. If you notice any of the following symptoms after an impact, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Headache or pressure in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion or does not feel right
  • Can’t recall events prior to or after hit or fall
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Shows behavior or personality changes

Sports-Related Concussions

If the concussion occurs during sports or physical activity, take a break until a health care professional says it’s safe to resume activity. If you return too quickly, you’ll have an increased risk of experiencing another concussion that can result in permanent brain damage.

Whether you’re an athletic trainer, coaches, athlete or family member, Avera’s concussion program can assist with:

  • Balance therapy
  • Baseline and concussion testing
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation
  • Consultation
  • Counseling
  • Return-to-play decisions
  • Treatment of post-concussion syndrome
  • Training and workshops

The majority of people who suffer concussions recover well. Yet depending on need, physical therapy and rehabilitation are available as well as treatment for post-concussion syndrome.

ImPACT Concussion Management Program

Avera uses the ImPACT program to help doctors, athletic trainers, nurses and coaches manage concussions and make safe return-to-play decisions for athletes.

ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a computerized exam proven to diagnose and manage concussions. If an athlete suffers a head injury, ImPACT helps determine the severity of head injury and when the injury is fully healed.

ImPACT tests are given to athletes by athletic training staff, coaching staff or the school nurse before sports practice or competition begins. This noninvasive test is set up in a computer-game type format and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

If a concussion is suspected, the athlete takes a follow-up test. Avera professionals then review both the preseason and post-injury test data to determine next steps. Additional follow-up tests track the athlete’s recovery and determine when it is safe to return to play.

Learn more about Avera’s concussion management guidelines.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a physician referral for most care at Avera Brain & Spine Institute. For more information, talk to your doctor or call 605-322-7270.

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