Did you know that concussions are the most common form of head injury? They don’t just happen to professional athletes – they can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Each year in BC, almost 600 people are hospitalized for a concussion, and approximately 14,500 visit the emergency department. That number is likely an underestimate of the true burden of concussion, as concussions are often under reported due to a lack of knowledge and awareness.
September 26th to October 2nd is the first annual Concussion Awareness Week in BC. To participate, BCIPRU and Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) are running a campaign to raise awareness about concussions and encourage everyone to learn how to prevent, recognize, respond to, and manage this invisible injury.
The real danger for most concussions occurs when the injury is not recognized or managed incorrectly. Returning to full activity too soon can result in more severe symptoms or long-term problems, which is why raising awareness around concussions is key to reduce the burden and severity of concussions.
“When well-managed, approximately 70 to 85 per cent of concussions will resolve without complication,” says Dr. Shelina Babul, associate director and sports injury specialist for the BCIRPU and clinical associate professor at the faculty of medicine at the University of British Columbia. “That’s why we want British Columbians to know how to recognize concussions, what to do should one occur and know where to find credible and up-to-date information.”
Dr. Babul led the creation of the CATT, a series of online educational modules and resources with the goal of increasing knowledge and awareness of concussion recognition, response, diagnosis, treatment and management. CATT includes free e-learning modules and other concussion resources for coaches, university-level athletes, medical professionals, women’s support workers supporting survivors of intimate partner violence, parents and caregivers, school professionals, and workers and workplaces.
- Concussions are the most common form of head injury caused by an impact or forceful motion of the head or other part of the body, resulting in rapid movement of the brain within the skull.
- Most concussions DO NOT include a loss of consciousness. Loss of consciousness occurs in less than 10% of diagnosed concussions.
- Every year more than 5,000 children in BC between the ages of 0 – 14 years are diagnosed with a concussion.
- Causes of concussions vary depending on age, but include falls (at home in young kids), sports, recreational activities, and road-use (cycling, pedestrian incidents, vehicle collisions).
To get involved in Concussion Awareness Week, download our Tool Kit
Know what to do if you witness a potential concussion-causing incident, view the CATT Concussion Pathway
The 4 S’s of Reporting a Concussion
Driving After Concussion: Is it safe to get behind the wheel?