Sports Concussions: What are the Signs?

A great deal of concern and energy have been spent on concussion in the world of sports recently. Recent deaths associated with second impact syndrome in high school sports has revolutionized the manner in which we assess and manage sport concussion in the school setting. Revisions in return-to-play protocols have been prioritized to minimize the devastating effects of concussive injury in our children. In addition to the symptoms mentioned in the previous blogs, athletes who have had a new concussion may exhibit behavior from the list below.

  • Appears to be dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment
  • Forgets plays
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even temporarily)
  • Shows behavior or personality change
  • Forgets events prior to hit (retrograde amnesia)
  • Forgets events after hit (anterograde amnesia)


When to Seek Emergency Care Following a Concussion

The following are emergency symptoms of a concussion. Seek immediate medical care if there are:

  • Worsening alertness and consciousness
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Muscle weakness on one or both sides
  • Worsening confusion
  • Remaining unconsciousness (coma)
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Unequal pupils
  • Changes in behavior or unusual behavior
  • Changes in speech (slurred, difficult to understand, does not make sense)
  • Fever
  • Fluid or blood leaking from the nose or ears
  • Severe and worsening headache
  • Someone tries to wake you and cannot do so.
  • Can’t recognize people or places


Have you suffered a concussion from playing sports? If so, what steps have you taken to treat the concussion?