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New guidelines developed for dealing with sports concussions

The American Academy of Neurology has recently published new guidelines for dealing with the diagnosis of concussions suffered due to sports injuries. Medical professionals in Wisconsin can find these new guidelines in the American Academy of Neurology's online medical journal, "Neurology," in the March 18 issue. The goal of these new protocols is to reduce brain injury related to sports accidents.

According to the findings of the study to create the new recommendations, football and rugby carry the greatest risk of concussion to players with soccer and hockey being the next most likely. There is no particular football helmet that is more or less likely to prevent a concussion, but it is important that headgear fit well. Sports players who have had a concussion before are at a higher risk of developing another concussion in the days following an injury, and they also may have a longer recovery time.

Common signs of a concussion include changes in memory, sleep patterns and speech. Additionally, headaches and sensitivity to light and noise are common along with changes in coordination and reaction time. In less than 10 percent of cases, those suffering from a concussion may lose consciousness. According to one doctor, the rule of thumb is "If in doubt, sit it out."

For those who play sports, safety is paramount, and medical professionals should be careful to correctly diagnose those who have suffered head injuries. Brain damage is incredibly serious, and it can occur if people are not taken care of properly. If someone has been injured or misdiagnosed, they may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to see if they have legal recourse.

Source: Medical Express, "American Academy of Neurology issues updated sports concussion guideline," March 18, 2013

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