‘We have a long way to go’: 90% of British Columbians can’t recognize a concussion

BC desperately needs more concussion education.

A new survey by B.C.’s Injury Research and Prevention Unit found that only 11 per cent of the 900 people surveyed were confident they could recognize a concussion when it occurred. It also found that 76 percent were unaware that concussions can happen without hitting the head, and 62 percent were unaware that concussion patients don’t need to be woken up every few hours.

Moving quickly is the most important aspect of concussion response, says Dr. Shelina Babul, a sports injury specialist at BC Children’s Hospital.

“It’s all about immediate recognition and knowing what to do,” she told Black Press Media on Thursday (November 17). “We’ve come a long way in the past decade, but we still have a long way to go.”

An estimated 1 in 165 Canadian adults suffers a concussion each year — although Babul and other experts believe that number is an underestimate, in part because many people may not seek medical attention for such injuries.

Without immediate recognition of a concussion, longer recovery times, post-concussion syndrome and lingering symptoms are more likely to occur.

“We developed the Concussion Awareness Training Tool – an online educational resource – because concussions can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

Recently, 26 colleges and universities across the country have carried out concussion training for student athletes. Part of the education is focused on getting athletes to stop worrying about losing scholarships or game time when their heads are hit, hit, jolted or shaken.

Efforts are also being made to increase high school awareness and add concussion education to the curriculum.

“We want people to realize the importance of what causes a concussion, how you feel, stopping the activity immediately and knowing how to deal with it,” Barbur said. “An immediate 24 to 48 hours of physical and cognitive rest is critical to recovery.”

Signs of a concussion may include dizziness, nausea, headache, sensitivity to light or sound, ringing in the ears, irritability, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or confusion. Meanwhile, symptoms requiring immediate medical attention may be loss of consciousness, persistent and worsening headache, slurred speech, and recurrent vomiting.

Anyone, including athletes and coaches, can learn more about concussions with free 30- to 55-minute training modules at cartoon network.

concussion health exercise

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