School districts are required to provide information related to Concussion and Head Injury WI statute 118.293 and Sudden Cardiac Arrest WI statute 118.2935 to:
- Each person who will be coaching a youth athletic activity.
- Each student who wishes to participate in the activity at the beginning of a youth athletic activity season, except as otherwise specifically provided.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal functioning of the brain (changes how the cells in the brain normally work). A concussion can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body. Any force that is transmitted to the head causing the brain to bounce around or twist within the skull can result in a concussion. Over 90% of concussions do not involve loss of consciousness. It is important to not that a concussion can happen in any sport or athletic activity.
Concussion affects people in four areas of function:
- Physical – this describes how a person may feel: headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, etc.
- Thinking – poor memory and concentration, responds to questions more slowly, asks repetitive questions. Concussion can cause an altered state of awareness.
- Emotions – a concussion can make a person more irritable and cause mood swings.
- Sleep – concussions frequently cause changes in sleeping patterns, which can increase fatigue.
Concussion Information – When in Doubt, Sit Them Out!
- An athletic coach, or official involved in a youth athletic activity, or health care provider shall remove a person from the youth activity if the coach, official, or health care provider determines that the person exhibits signs, symptoms, or behavior consistent with a concussion or head injury or the coach, official, or health care provider suspects the person has sustained a concussion or head injury.
- A person who has been removed from a youth athletic activity may not participate in a youth athletic activity until he or she is evaluated by a health care provider and receives a written clearance to participate in the activity from the health care provider.
These are some signs of concussion:
- Dazed or stunned appearance
- Change in the level of consciousness or awareness
- Confused about assignment
- Forgets plays
- Unsure of score, game, opponent
- Answers more slowly than usual
- Shows behavior changes
- Loss of consciousness
- Asks repetitive questions or memory concerns
These are some of the more common symptoms of concussion:
- Dizzy or unsteady
- Sensitive to light or noise
- Feeling mentally foggy
- Problems with concentration and memory
Injured athletes can exhibit many or just a few of the signs and/or symptoms of concussion. However, if a player with a concussion must be seen by an appropriate health care provider before returning to practice (including weight lifting) or competition.
Return to Play
Current recommendations are for stepwise return to play program. In order to resume activity, the athlete must be symptom free and off any pain control or headache medications. The athlete should be carrying a full academic load without any significant accommodations. Finally, the athlete must have clearance from an appropriate health care provider.
What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating. When that happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. If it is not treated, sudden cardiac arrest usually causes death within minutes. But quick treatment with a defibrillator may be lifesaving. A heart attack is different from a sudden cardiac arrest. A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked. During a heart attack, the heart usually does not suddenly stop beating. With sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating.
The heart has an electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. A sudden cardiac arrest can happen when the heart’s electrical system is not working right and causes irregular heartbeats. Irregular heartbeats are called arrhythmias. There are different types. They may cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Some can cause the heart to stop pumping blood to the body; this is the type that causes sudden cardiac arrest.
What are the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest?
Usually, the first sign of SCA is loss of consciousness (fainting). This happens when the heart stops beating.
Some people may have a racing heartbeat or feel dizzy or ligh-headed just before they faint. And sometimes people have chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting in the hour before they have a sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden cardiac arrest happens without warning and requires emergency treatment. Sudden cardiac arrest is an emergency. A person having sudden cardiac arrest needs to be treated with a defibrillator right away. A defibrillator is a device that sends an electric shock to the heart. The electric shock can restore a normal rhythm to a heart that has stopped beating. To work well, it needs to be done within minutes of the sudden cardiac arrest.