The National Wheelchair Basketball Association understands the severity of concussions, and is dedicated to preventing them within our organization. We have utilized the practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HEADS UP Program to help educate our members on the prevention of concussions, and what to do in the case of suspected concussions.
For more information visit www.cdc.gov/concussion.
All sports and free play are associated with risk for a concussion, including playing, officiating or participating in wheelchair basketball. It is important that all participants and parents learn about concussion prevention, recognition, treatment and return to play.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury-or TBI- caused by a bump or blow to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Bouncing or twisting of the brain in the skull can cause chemical changes and sometimes stretching of the brain cells. A concussion disrupts the way the brain normally works. Most concussions are mild, but all concussions should be taken seriously because permanent brain damage and death can occur from another injury. A concussion may be difficult to recognize. A player does not have to be "knocked-out" to have a concussion- less than 10% of players actually lose consciousness. Signs and symptoms may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear.
If a person reports one or more symptoms or demonstrates any signs of concussion after a blow to the head or body, s/he should be kept out of practice, play or training immediately and referred to a health care professional with experience in concussion management. A concussed brain needs time to heal and the person is much more likely to have another concussion if they return to soon. Repeat concussions are usually more severe and take longer to heal. Return to play is allowed only after the individual is without symptoms, has progressed through the concussion protocol and is cleared by the health care professional.