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How can you recognize a concussion when injured in Arizona?

Arizona residents know that a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump or jolt to the head may result in a brain injury known as a concussion. Athletes are especially vulnerable to concussions, which are defined as "a rapid movement of the head caused due to a blow to the head." Brain injury and concussion may lead to behavioral, as well as physical changes and impairment.

Those suffering from a concussion may exhibit various physical symptoms. An athlete injured during competition may appear stunned or disoriented, be unsure of field position and have problems following instructions. Cognitive impairment can also lead to clumsy physical movement, slow response to question, loss of consciousness, blackout or mood and behavioral changes. The injured may also complain of nausea, headache or dizziness and be sensitive to light and noise.

Athletes are the group most vulnerable to brain injuries and concussions. For this reason, baseline tests are often conducted before pre-season games to assess the athlete's brain function and balance, absent of injury. Any symptoms of concussions are also verified by using these tests. Baseline tests, as well as other concussion testing methods, can be used only on athletes aged 10 or older. Such tests aid health care practitioners in gauging the extent of head and brain injuries against the athlete's results posted prior to brain trauma, thus helping coaches make decisions for the next game's plan.

An athlete who suffers a concussion may be removed from the game. Depending on the severity of the injury, he or she may be rendered unfit to return to play or may be benched indefinitely or permanently. If the primary source of income is derived from professional play, an athlete may be entitled to compensation. Professional help is available to assist an injured athlete get due compensation for any injuries suffered while on the field.

Source: CDC.gov, "Concussion in Sports," accessed on Aug. 21, 2014

Source: CDC.gov, "Concussion in Sports," accessed on Aug. 21, 2014

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