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Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Exhibits moody behavior or personality changes
  • Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Headache or "pressure" in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish or foggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Does not "feel right" or is "feeling down"

If a concussion is suspected, seek medical attention right away and call a MedStar Sports Medicine athletic trainer at 888.44SPORT (888.447.7678). Athletic trainers are available for free phone consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Video: How to Detect a Concussion


If a Concussion is Suspected

Consistent with the Maryland and DC athletic concussion prevention laws, athletes suspected of suffering a concussion should remove themselves or be removed from the game or practice immediately, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear.

  • Continuing to play without medical clearance leaves athletes vulnerable to a more severe brain injury or, rarely, death.
  • The symptoms and signs of concussion may not appear immediately after the injury, and can take hours or days to fully appear.
  • Because athletes may not report their concussion symptoms, coaches, teammates and parents need to be educated to recognize symptoms and signs of concussion, and seek appropriate assistance.

Andrew Tucker, M.D.
MedStar Union Memorial Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Baltimore Ravens Team Physician
President, NFL Physicians Society