Jodi A. Pelegrin, D.O. – Primary Care Sports Medicine, Dreyer Medical Clinic
On July 1, 2011, Illinois House Bill 200 became effective, requiring high schools to adapt a policy for concussion management in student athletes, in conjunction with Illinois High School Association guidelines.
The bill further requires the policy to provide that, “a student athlete who has been removed from play may not return to play until the student athlete is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and head injuries and the student athlete receives written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.”
Why the strict new guidelines? It is estimated that 136,000 concussions occur per academic year in high schools. By definition, a concussion is a brain injury resulting from a sudden impact to the head, face, neck, or elsewhere on the body, transmitting force to the head. This type of direct blow can happen in any sport or recreational activity through collisions, falls, or other accidents, and can happen with or without loss of consciousness. Although they are usually not life-threatening, concussions can have very serious side effects, and potentially cause long-term or permanent damage. Additionally, it is also believed that repeat concussions can cause cumulative damage.
With school sports seasons starting back up this month, it is important that athletes, coaches, and parents are aware of the signs and know what to do in the event of a concussion. If an athlete displays any of the following signs or symptoms after any kind of head trauma, they need to be removed from participation and taken for medical evaluation.
• Appears dazed or stunned
• Is confused
• Moves clumsily
• Loses consciousness
• Shows behavior or personality changes
• Can’t recall events prior to or after head trauma
• Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
• Headache or “pressure” in the head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems/dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Sensitivity to light and/or noise
• Feeling sluggish/hazy/foggy/groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Does not “feel right”
The Sports Medicine team at Dreyer Medical Clinic is experienced in evaluation and treatment of concussions. Please call 630-264-8720 to make an appointment in our Orthopaedics Department at Dreyer’s Highland location, 1221 N. Highland Avenue in Aurora, or call 630-978-6646 to make an appointment in Orthopaedics at Dreyer’s Fox Valley Villages location, 4100 Healthway Drive, Aurora. Concussion cases are eligible for quick work-in appointments.
Dr. Jodi Pelegrin is board certified in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. She is the team physician for West Aurora High School and the Medical Director for the 2011 Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon.