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Dangers Of Concussions
August 23, 2013

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox Nearly 4 million concussions are reported each year. From soccer and football players to cheerleaders, and with the fall athletic season kicking off this month, student athletes are more at-risk for the dangerous condition.

Concussions are traumatic brain injuries, generally caused by a direct blow to the head. Clinical outreach athletic trainer Nick Dailey works with athletes at Cabell Midland High School and Milton Middle School. He said concussions can happen in several instances.

"It could be someone falling from a height or it could be two linebackers meeting head on," he said.

He said it can also be caused by rotational forces to the head.

"It's lots of things you watch out for," Dailey said.

Here are signs to watch out for: recurring headache, dizziness, sense of "fogginess," blurred vision, trouble concentrating, nausea, and more.

A new West Virginia law requires law requires an athlete suspected of having a concussion to be removed from practice or competition immediately. The athlete needs to be symptom free for at least 24 hours before being cleared to return by a doctor.

"That could be six days from the original injury. That could be two weeks from the original injury. It could be the first day after the original injury. It's very case dependent. It's very athlete dependent," Dailey said.

Cabell County already has strong concussion guidelines in place. They give a baseline cognitive test for middle and high school athletes, and if a concussion is suspected, they're retested to check for changes.

"The steps are in place. They're making sure these steps are in place to make sure these heads are taken care of so to speak, and it's great to see. It's really great to see," Dailey said.

In some cases, the effects of one concussion can last a lifetime.

"We're trying to take in the bigger picture, not just Friday night but years and years and years down the road so that they're not having recurring problem down the road and that's for any injury, you want to be cautious about that stuff, but especially the brain. Like I say, we only have one, and we want to protect it and we want to take care of it," Dailey said.


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