After-Care Instructions for Westminster
Students with Concussions

What is a concussion?
A concussion is a traumatically induced alteration in mental status with or without associated loss of
consciousness. It can be caused from direct or indirect contact of an object hitting the head resulting in symptoms
that can continue for days.
What should I watch for?
Although most concussions do not cause long-term or permanent damage, any concussion can be potentially
dangerous because it affects the brain. As an athlete, you should be monitored for 24-48 hours for any signs and
symptoms (or increase in symptoms) after you leave the training room. If serious problems are going to occur,
they will generally show up during this time.
Examples of signs and symptoms to watch for include:
You may already have several of these signs and symptoms. However, an immediate Emergency Room evaluation should be done if your signs or symptoms increase or new symptoms develop. You should also notify your Athletic Trainer and Team Physician. Is it OK to go to sleep after a concussion?
Yes. You will likely be tired after a concussion from the injury itself, the athletic activity you just completed, and
the evaluation by the trainers and/or doctor, so by all means get some rest. In fact, sleep may have some healing
effects on the injury. However, we like you to have someone stay with you (parent, friend, roommate) to wake
you every 3-4 hours for the first 12 hours or so. This is simply to establish arousability, alertness and
consciousness. Some basic questions your companion can ask are “Do you know where you are?” and “What day
it is?” If you do not arouse properly, the Athletic Trainer and Team Physician should be contacted.
What can I take for headache or other pains?
Do not take any medications unless told to by the physician. Generally, you will be allowed to take
acetaminophen (Tylenol). You should avoid aspirin and aspirin containing products such as Excedrin or Midol;
ibuprofen, (Advil, Motrin); naproxen (Aleve) and any form of alcohol (cough syrups and cold medications
included) for the first 72 hours following injury.
When can I return to exercise and my sport?
It is important to allow the brain to properly heal before participating in any activity that could lead to another
blow to the head. With repeated concussions, the severity and duration of symptoms can be much more serious
and last far longer. Therefore, avoid any physical activity until cleared by the physician or athletic trainer.
Furthermore, you cannot drive a car or operate any motorized vehicles until given clearance by an athletic trainer
or physician.
When can I return to school and class?
Recent knowledge based on years of research shows that thinking, “exercising the brain” and most cognitive tasks
can prolong concussion symptoms and slow recovery. Exercise, whether physical or mental, will usually increase
the symptoms of headache, dizziness, nausea and lightheadedness. Most students will have difficulty with
concentration, memory, and the speed in which they process information –which negatively affects their school
learning and performance. Symptoms are usually pronounced in the early post injury phase rendering the student-
unable to take tests. Struggling to learn and perform “overuses” the brain, at a time when it is working hard to
recover, and can negatively affect recovery. As a result, the guidelines for return to school are listed below:
The individual should initially rest at home and avoid the following activities until headaches or other
significant symptoms resolve
: homework, tests, papers and projects, reading, TV, computer use, videogames,
text messaging, physical exercise, bright lights, noise, walking up stairs (when an elevator is available), hot tubs
and socializing with friends (going to the movies, etc.) In other words, they should REST.
Once headache free, they can begin brief periods of studying or reading. If symptoms return, they should
discontinue the activity.
Return to school is advised for gradually increasing periods of time once they can tolerate a couple of hours of
thinking. Sleeping longer in the morning and coming to school later might be one option. Another option is rest
time during the day in the nurses’ office. The school nurse and the grade chair should serve as liaisons between
the teachers, athletic trainers and coaches to facilitate the above.
IMPORTANT- Students or their parents should contact the following faculty/staff to report a concussion/head
Athletes- pleases contact or have your parents contact and alert the appropriate grade chair, Athletic Trainer (if in
season and Westminster sport related) and the school nurse that you have a possible concussion as soon as
possible after the injury.
In season Athletes: take post concussion impact concussion test if indicated after injury and report to Certified
Athletic Trainer daily to fill out symptom score sheet.
- When symptom free – repeat post-Impact Concussion Test. Begin to do schoolwork. If athlete remains symptom
free after doing schoolwork, then start Westminster Sport Medicine’s return to play program.
Non- Athlete- contact or have parents contact appropriate grade chair and school nurse to report possible
concussion as soon as possible after the injury.

Contact Information:
Westminster Athletic Trainers:
Donna Hays, ATC: 404-609-6402, 404-583-9135(cell)
Lauren Carter, ATC: 404-367-5086, 404-840-2069 (cell)
Junior High and High School Infirmary Staff:
Pressly Infirmary: 404-609-6210, 404-918-6906 (cell)



Tetrahedron Letters 46 (2005) 5559–5562Muneo Shoji,a Kaoru Shiohara,a Masato Oikawa,a Ryuichi Sakaib and Makoto Sasakia,*aGraduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Tsutsumidori-amamiya, Aoba-ku, Sendai 981-8555, JapanbSchool of Fisheries Science, Kitasato University, Sanriku-cho, Iwate 022-0100, JapanReceived 4 April 2005; revised 6 June 2005; accepted 8 June 2005Abstract—Syn


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