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Sydney Swans defender Aliir Aliir - Sporting News
17 Feb 2017
17 Feb 2017
by Jennifer Smallridge

Concussion in Sport: Mind Your Head

It’s that time of the year where school and competitive sport are ramping up again, and we are urging players, teachers, parents and coaches to be wary of the symptoms of early concussion. Dr Ruben Branson, our own sports physician and game day doctor for Sydney Swans, says that concussion can be particularly difficult to diagnose - especially in young athletes.

Concussion - what is it?

Not to be missed, a concussion is a type of brain injury caused by forces to the head. It impairs the functioning of the brain, and is an evolving condition - symptoms may present over the hours or days after the actual injury.

What should you look out for?

Not every athlete who sustains a concussion will appear obvious just by looking at them, and it doesn’t always require a hard knock to the head. Check in with the individual for symptoms such as headaches, reporting pressure in the head, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, light/noise sensitivity; particularly if they present with a vacant stare, changes in behaviour, balance disturbances and confusion.

Next steps

If a concussion is suspected, follow regular first aid protocol in case of other injuries present. Always be aware of any neck pain or potential spinal injury. Any player suspected of having concussion should not be returned to the field of play.

At the time of the incident, it is useful to take down the following details to assist the doctor:

  • - When it occurred
  • - How it occurred
  • - Where the body was impacted (temple, back of head, etc)
  • - What happened next (confusion, loss of consciousness, etc)
  • - Additional useful information (has this happened before, ongoing changes in behaviour)

A medical practitioner with experience in managing concussion should always review any individual with a suspected concussion.

Sportsmed Biologic provides a specialised concussion service with our sports physicians, including access to medical imaging (if required) and comprehensive follow up and return to sport guidelines.

For on-the-day management, the AIS has partnered with the Australian Medical Association to create the website for players, coaches and parents.


To make a priority appointment at Sportsmed Biologic, call 1300 858 860.



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Carlton Football Club Sydney Swans AFL Box Hill Rugby Union Club Collingwood Football Club Eastern Football League (EFL) Eastern Ranges Football Club Northern Blues Football Club Melbourne City Football Club
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