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Introduction: A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically caused by bio-mechanical forces inflicted on the head that change the way the brain works. Concussions can also result from a blow elsewhere in the body causing an impulsive force transmitted to the head. These types of injuries often involve a sudden onset of neurologic function impairment such as confusion, amnesia, or loss of consciousness that quickly dissipates and is generally not life-threatening. Unfortunately, these seemingly “mild” symptoms have led numerous primary care providers to undermine its potential risks, often leading to inadequate evaluation, premature return to play, and poor psychological management. Complications of severe or repeated concussions include migraines, depression & mood changes, sleep disorders, convulsions, coma, and in some instances even death. The goals of our study were to evaluate public awareness and knowledge of concussion, identify common misconceptions, assess barriers to proper management, and propose uniform guidelines for education, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment to be used in the Vermont school system.


Brenda Perkins, RN, BSN, MA, Chittenden East Supervisory Union

Jan Carney, MD, MPH, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Colleen Wise, RN, BSN, MA, Chittenden East Supervisory Union


Chittenden East Supervisory Union


Access to Health Services, Adolescent Health, Educational and Community-Based Programs


Presented at the American Public Health Association 139th Annual Meeting & Exposition, Washington, DC, November 1, 2011 as "Heads up: Using Your Brain When Tackling Concussions," by Matthew Davies, Charles Ashley, Shane Diamond, Lauren Gilligan, Alberto Gutierrez, Lindsay Karr, Christina Pedro, Colleen Wise, RN, BSN, MA, Brenda Perkins, RN, BSN, MA, Thomas V. Delaney, PhD and Jan K. Carney, MD MPH.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Heads Up: Using Your Brain When Tackling Concussions