Perils of Second Impact Syndrome: One Thing Everyone Should Know About Sport Concussions

–By Jason Swift

It is common in contact sports for athletes to suffer a concussion. Although coaches, athletes, and sports fans are becoming far more educated about the subject, there are still some myths and conflicting ideas out there. One thing that everyone should be aware of is a condition called Second Impact Syndrome.

Brain. J E Therlot.flickr

J E Therlot/flickr

When someone experiences a concussion, the medical term to describe the event is a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. TBIs can vary in severity, but most often they are mild, with recovery occurring within 7-10 days. However, a break from sports and strenuous activity is pivotal for recovery. If an athlete is not given time to recover from a TBI, a particularly dangerous syndrome, Second Impact Syndrome, can occur. Second Impact Syndrome occurs when an individual experiences two TBIs within a short period of time, which can cause catastrophic damage to the brain or even death. Here’s the story of a football athlete who survived Second Impact Syndrome:

Preston Pleveretes’ story is tragic, and his life will never be the same. Thankfully, knowledge about the dangers of successive concussions is spreading and incidents like his are becoming less frequent. Resist the temptation to return to play too soon after an injury. If someone you know is considering returning to play after recently experiencing a concussion, you can make a difference by helping explain the risks involved. For more information about Second Impact Syndrome–and how to know when it’s safe to return to play–visit: http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/second-impact-syndrome/

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