Southeast Georgia Health System’s certified athletic trainers offer
a comprehensive approach to all aspects of concussion management and treatment,
from baseline testing prior to an injury to concussion assessment once
an injury has occurred. We also provide treatment, referrals, education
and return to play and return to learn protocols. Our team of athletic
trainers and sports medicine physicians have been treating and managing
sports related concussions in Southeast Georgia for over a decade, and
it is our goal to return your athlete to the game as quickly and safely
Need concussion management services? Call 912-466-5330
Concussion Management in St. Marys
How well you recover from a concussion determines your quality of life
at home, work, school and sports – today and in the future. Your
symptoms may be minor or serious, but one thing is certain: you need a
doctor who understands how to help you heal. Our concussion management expert,
Lindsey Sweat, M.D., is a certified ImPACT® consultant, which allows her to provide innovative
Learn more about
concussion management at Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery.
A computer-based exam, ImPACT software assists our athletic trainers and
sports medicine providers in determining an athlete's ability to return
to play after suffering a concussion. By completing six different exams
consisting of immediate and delayed memory recall, reaction time and sequencing,
each area of the brain is tested to determine healing progress. Baseline
testing is administered pre-season; should an athlete endure a head injury,
more tests are administered directly following that injury and during
the healing process to track improvement.
ImPACT Testing Official Website
Concussion assessment and treatment
Our certified athletic trainers perform concussion evaluations to assess
neurocognition, balance, coordination, reaction time and symptom severity.
Utilizing the information gathered during the concussion assessment and
ImPACT testing, our athletic trainers develop a personalized treatment
and management plan, including recommendations for mental and physical
rest. Appropriate prescriptions for exertional training and rehabilitation
will be prescribed, and we will continue to re-evaluate your condition
on a regular basis. Our athletic trainers are well connected with area
physicians and other health care professionals, including pediatric neurologists,
neuropsychologists and physical therapists; if you or your child is in
need of a specialist, our concussion management team can refer you to
the appropriate specialist based on your condition, progress and needs.
Knowledge is key to understanding the management of concussions. Our athletic
trainers work directly with community physicians concerning concussion
diagnosis and treatment, as well as to implement return to play protocols
for sports related concussion. Our athletic trainers also provide annual
education on concussion recognition at Glynn County public schools and
Frederica Academy. We educate parents and athletes on the risks of concussion,
signs and symptoms and what to do if you think you, your child or a fellow
athlete has a concussion.
Return to play and return to learn protocols
Our athletic trainers return athletes to competition as quickly and safely
as possible through a graduated five step program. We also work with school
nurses, guidance counselors and administrators to address your child’s
needs in the classroom when returning to school following a concussion
to enhance recovery.
Georgia’s Return to Play Act
Implemented in 2013, Georgia’s return to play act applies to school
and recreational athletics for children ages 7-18. It requires schools
and recreational facilities to provide parents and athletes with information
regarding the nature and risk of concussion or head injury. The law also
mandates that coaches receive education on concussion recognition.
When children are suspected of having a concussion, they must be removed
from play until they are evaluated and cleared to return by a health care
professional trained in concussion management. Whether you are a school
or recreational sports team or club, the athletic trainers in our concussion
management program can provide you with the services and tools you need
to keep your children and your athletes safe.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that changes the way the
brain normally functions. Concussions are caused by a bump, blow or jolt
to the head, but can also occur from a blow to the body causing the head
and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Most concussions occur without
the loss of consciousness; however, even what seems to be a mild bump
on the head can be serious.
Concussion rates are on the rise and affecting younger athletes. Because
concussions can have a more serious impact on a young, developing brain,
they need to be addressed correctly, as the effects of a concussion can
extend off the playing field affecting social and academic life as well.
Children and teens with a concussion, or suspected concussion, should
never return to sports or recreation activity on the same day. This practice
will help to prevent second impact syndrome.
A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain fully recovers from a
previous concussion is referred to as second impact syndrome. This injury
can occur within weeks, days or even the same game as the initial injury.
Second Impact Syndrome can slow recovery and increase the likelihood of
having long term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result
in permanent brain damage or even death.
Did you know…
- 33 percent of all sports concussions happen at practice.
- One in five high school athletes will sustain a sports concussion during
- High school athletes who have been concussed are three times more likely
to suffer another concussion in the same season.
- Female high school basketball players suffer 240 percent more concussions
- 90 percent of most diagnosed concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness.
- Cumulative concussions are shown to increase catastrophic head injury leading
to permanent neurologic disability by 39 percent.
Concussion signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may appear immediately after an injury
or may not appear or be noticed until days after an injury. Everyone’s
concussion is unique and the timeline in which symptoms become apparent
and heal are oftentimes unique as well.
- Appears dizzy or stunned
- Forgets instruction
- Is unsure of game, score, opponent
- Moves clumsily
- Loss of consciousness (even briefly)
- Mood, behavior or personality changes
- Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
- Can’t recall events after hit or fall
- Headache or “pressure” in the head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Double or blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
- Trouble concentrating or remembering
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping more than normal
- Just not “feeling right” or “feeling down”
If you, your sports team, organization or school needs athletic training
services, call 912-466-5330.