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Secondary impact syndrome


Secondary impact syndrome and concussion.

I often hear about children and athletes taking a bang to the head and not realising they had a concussion.


They feel “off it” for a few days, then the symptoms pass, and by the time the next game comes around (usually a week later), they jump straight back in.


Unfortunately, in many of these cases they had suffered a concussion and although their symptoms had cleared up after a few days/ weeks, that does not mean their brain tissue had recovered.


In fact, we believe it takes between 20 and 45 days for the brain to recover!


Until the brain has recovered, the player is at a significant risk of secondary impact syndrome – having further forces go through brain tissue while it is still recovering. The results of which can be permanent brain damage or death.


If you, your child, or someone you know “feels off”, “in a fog” or gets headaches, dizziness or any other symptoms after a bang to the head, go and see a doctor or someone with specialist training in concussion.


Firstly, to rule out more serious issues and then help you recover and advise when it is safe to return to sports. It’s important to see someone who specialises in concussion, because we use various tests to make the best and safest decision possible, even for those who do not have a baseline test.


If you, or anyone you know, have had a concussion (or if you’re involved in contact sports) get in touch with the Dizziness, Balance & Concussion Centre to see how we can help.

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