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Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

If you notice any of the following symptoms after a suspected concussion, seek medical attention right away and call a MedStar Sports Medicine athletic trainer at 855-4MED318. Athletic trainers are available for free phone consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • 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
  • Has headache or "pressure" in head
  • Exhibits nausea or vomiting
  • Has balance problems or dizziness
  • Experiences double or blurry vision
  • Has sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feels sluggish or foggy
  • Has concentration or memory problems
  • Does not feel right or is feeling down

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