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Protect your athletes from serious concussion-related complications. FastMed now offers convenient pre-injury baseline concussion testing at all Phoenix-area clinics, and post-injury concussion testing at all Sports Medicine clinics.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic injury to the brain that results in the temporary loss of normal brain function. In many cases, there may be no external signs of head trauma. A concussion’s effects, however, can result in loss of memory, speech, balance, judgment, reflexes, and muscle coordination.

Although these effects are usually temporary, and most people fully recover, there are cases where a concussion can be serious, or even fatal. For this reason, it’s important to have a head injury examined by an appropriate medical professional.

What causes a concussion?

A concussion is typically caused by a severe blow, bump, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also result from any violent shaking of the head or upper body—basically, anything that causes the brain to bounce around or twist inside the skull. The resulting damage to brain cells creates chemical changes within the brain. Some victims actually lose consciousness, although this is not always the case.

If you suspect a possible concussion, you should seek immediate medical attention to prevent possible complications from occurring. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consulting a doctor for anything more serious than a mild bump on the head.

What are the signs of a concussion?

When looking for signs of a concussion, pay close attention to your child’s behavior. Concussion symptoms, lasting various lengths of time, may include any or all of the following:

  • Amnesia
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Fogginess
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of consciousness

Are concussions dangerous?

Even mild concussions should be taken seriously. Brain-injury experts, including neurosurgeons, stress that there is no such thing as a “minor concussion,” even though some concussions are less serious than others.

A single concussion does not cause permanent damage in most cases. However, even a mild concussion soon after the first one can be permanently disabling, or even deadly. That’s why a proper concussion evaluation and diagnosis can be critical.

Concussions in student-athletes

It is estimated that competitive sports and recreational activities contribute to up to 3.8 million concussions in the U.S. each year. For males, the most common causes of sports-related concussions include football, bicycling, and basketball. For females, soccer is the leading cause. Other sports rounding out the entire list include hockey, lacrosse, cheerleading, baseball, and softball.

These head injuries are often the result of contact with an opponent, teammate, equipment, or the ground. Thankfully, many schools have taken appropriate action, employing athletic trainers and health professionals to recognize when a concussion has occurred on the field. Statistics show that athletes removed from the field immediately following a concussion are 5.93 times more likely to recover.

What is a baseline test?

The best time to establish a baseline for concussion testing is before a concussion occurs. That’s why the ImPACT Baseline Concussion Test, a quick pre-concussion screening, is so essential for anyone at risk of a head injury. Consider it a “preseason physical for the brain.” This test tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration.

FastMed now offers the ImPACT Baseline Concussion Testing at all clinics in the Phoenix area.

What is a concussion test?

Once a pre-injury baseline has been established, the ImPACT Quick Test can determine whether a possible concussion has occurred. Administered on an iPad, this post-concussion screening test measures memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration. After a head injury, a trained medical provider can then compare the Baseline and Quick Test results to determine whether the patient may be suffering from the effects of a concussion.

If your child shows signs of a concussion, or you suspect that your child has suffered a concussion, our trained medical providers can administer the ImPACT Quick Test at any of our FastMed Sports Medicine clinics across the Valley:

Baseline concussion testing is offered at all Phoenix-area FastMed clinics.

When to seek immediate medical attention

If you suspect a concussion may have occurred, don’t play a potentially dangerous waiting game. Seek medical attention immediately. A small percentage of concussions develop bleeding or blood clots. These can be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated.

* The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.