Up to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur annually in the United States. An estimated 1-2 million occur in children, and roughly half are never reported to healthcare providers.
High school students experience concussions more than any other age group, but rates are rising among middle schoolers. 1 in 5 high school athletes will sustain a sports concussion during the season.
Continuing to play despite a concussion doubles recovery time for teen athletes and worsens short-term mental function.
DID YOU KNOW? 90% of concussions do not involve loss of consciousness.
Watch for headaches that get worse, won’t go away, or are accompanied by one pupil appearing larger than the other.
Watch for double images where there should only be one. Images can be side by side, on top of each other, or a combination of both.
Watch for nausea brought on by dizziness or headache, and call a doctor right away if vomiting occurs more than 3 times.
Pay attention to dizziness described as a rocking or swaying sensation, lightheadedness or general imbalance.
Be aware when athletes seem “zoned out,” are easily distracted by lights and noises, or have trouble focusing.
Watch for changes in sleep patterns, such as sleeping for much longer periods than normal, or insomnia.
Lorraine is a Monterey County local, having received a degree in nursing from Hartnell College in Salinas, California and conducted her clinical rotations at Natividad Medical Center. Previously, Lorraine worked in the NMC Sam Karas Acute Rehabilitation Unit helping patients recover from traumatic brain injuries. In April 2016, she moved to the trauma prevention team to pursue her true passion for education and injury prevention in the community.
Dr. Di Stante completed his fellowship in trauma/surgical critical care at the University of California, Irvine and is Board Certified in general surgery. He is also a published researcher in trauma care and was awarded Physician of the Year by the Monterey County Medical Society in 2014. Since joining Natividad in 2006, Dr. Di Stante has played a key role in establishing Natividad as the county’s only Level II Trauma Center.
Prior to joining Natividad, Dr. Siljander served as medical director of Together Health Network (THN), a statewide network of hospitals and healthcare providers in Michigan. She has been a sports medicine and family practice provider for more than 10 years, working at the Monterey Physicians Medical Group and MedQuan Sports Medicine, PC. Dr. Siljander is passionate about healthcare transformation initiatives that optimize patient care and experience.
Born in Orange County and raised in Northern California, Dr. Namihas returned to Southern California to receive his undergraduate degree from USC. He attended medical school at Saint George’s University in Grenada of the West Indies and completed an elective rotation at Natividad during his fourth year. Dr. Namihas enjoys working with the local population of Salinas.
Dr. Irvine grew up in Los Angeles and received a degree from Whitworth University in Religion and Theology. Before attending medical school at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, he worked in youth outreach and social work, and spent time as a fitness coach for people of all ages. Dr. Irvine is privileged to return to California to serve a Latino population as a family medicine resident.
Brain Smart is a Natividad Medical Center (NMC) trauma prevention program. The program is a platform to educate the Monterey County community about head trauma, including sports-related concussions, senior fall prevention and other brain injury risks. NMC’s physicians and nurses have teamed up with local organizations to hold educational workshops throughout the community to help bring awareness to the risks of head trauma. As the only local Level II Trauma Center, NMC is well positioned to address the need for information concerning traumatic brain injuries. Keep an eye out for Brain Smart in your community and contact us if you’d like to host a workshop at your organization.
Lorraine Artinger, RN, Trauma Prevention and Outreach Nurse
P (831) 772-7357 | F (831) 772-7333