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Safety First: Mount Nittany Health’s Comprehensive Approach to Student-Athlete Concussion Care

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Mount Nittany Health is proud to provide comprehensive athletic training support to the State College Area School District. Our team of athletic trainers provides high-quality care to local athletes in order to reduce the risk of injury or, if necessary, assess, treat, and refer injuries for specialized care. The trainers also are able to rehabilitate athletes as they recover from their injuries.

With the start of the new school year comes new high school and junior high sports seasons. While the overall number of high school sports injuries has declined over time, the total number of concussions has grown in recent years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury typically caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head. Most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness. Young children and teens are more likely to get a concussion and also take longer to recover.

Athletes who have had a concussion experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise. They also may appear confused and forgetful. In the long run, they may experience mood swings and personality changes. Symptoms requiring immediate attention include one pupil being larger than the other, extreme drowsiness, repetitive vomiting, and a worsening headache, among other symptoms.

Mount Nittany Health provides a detailed concussion protocol for student-athletes that streamlines the treatment process to ensure a safe and timely return to play. Mount Nittany Health’s concussion protocol includes concussion baseline testing for our partnered schools, timely follow-up care with monitored neurocognitive testing for athletes diagnosed with a concussion, and proper return-to-play restrictions to ensure that students only return to full participation when it is safe.

Athletic trainers are also critical in diagnosing and caring for athletes with concussions or other injuries. Mount Nittany Health works with State College Area School District to provide diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of sports injuries.