Concussion Management

Signs of a Concussion

A concussion is a type of brain injury that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. They can be very serious because they may change the way the brain normally works

Observable Signs

Athlete-Reported Symptoms

Appears to be dazed or stunned


Appears confused


Forgets assignment or play

Dizziness or balance problems

Unsure of game, score, or opponent

Double or fuzzy vision

Moves clumsily

Sensitivity to light or noise

Loss of consciousness (even briefly)

Feeling sluggish

Answers questions slowly

Feeling foggy or groggy

Shows behavior or personality changes

Concentration or memory problems

Can't recall events prior to or after the injury

Change in sleep patterns

What to do after a head injury

If your child has a hit to the head, watch him/her for 1-2 days even if there doesn’t seem to be a problem right away. Call the doctor or go to the ER immediately if you notice any of the following things:

  • Confusion or irritability
  • Repeated vomiting (It's normal to vomit once or twice after a head injury.)
  • Severe, prolonged headache (more than 24 hours)
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Vision problems, (Double/blurred vision; unusual repetitive eye movement; unequal pupils)
  • Clear or bloody drainage from the nose or ears
  • Seizures/convulsions. If your child has a seizure or convulsion, stay calm. Move your child to an area where no injury may result and provide plenty of space for breathing.  Call 911 immediately.

ImPACTTM at SportsCare

Memorial’s SportsCare has been the area’s leader in sports medicine since 1985, providing medical coverage to student athletes throughout practices and athletic sporting events.

Sports-related concussions are unfortunately common in contact sports. Because an athlete may not have fully recovered from an apparent concussion before returning to play, there’s an increased risk of serious consequences from a second traumatic blow. That’s why we use a computer-based concussion testing program called ImPACT with student athletes who are under our care.

The Advantage of ImPACT

One of the most widely used neurocognitive test is ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). ImPACT is a scientifically-validated, computerized concussion evaluation system.

All athletes are given a brain-function test when they are healthy to use as a baseline. In the future if the athlete is suspected of having a concussion, a follow-up test can compare results against the baseline. ImPACT shows whether or not an injury has occurred, and can help determine when it’s safe for the athlete to get back in the game.

ImPACT measures:

  • Attention span
  • Working memory
  • Sustained and selective attention time
  • Response variability
  • Non-verbal problem solving
  • Reaction time

The test takes approximately 30 minutes and involves a series of questions about the student's health, athletic profile, academic background and injury/concussion history. The test consists of a near infinite number of alternate forms by randomly varying the stimulus array for each administration. 

Many professional, Olympic, collegiate and military athletic programs use ImPACT. Memorial SportsCare's certified athletic trainers use ImPACT within all covered schools throughout central Illinois.

For more information, contact SportsCare's lead athletic trainer: John Watson, M.D., at 217-547-9236