Concussion – it’s not all sports related!

Although widely considered as a sports injury, only 20 per cent of concussion cases are sports related.

In this month’s GP Connect clinical feature, GP (FRACGP) with a Masters in Sports Medicine, Dr Gill Cowen says the majority of concussions result from a direct blow to the head, or transmitted force from the body, from falls, road traffic incidents and physical assault including intimate partner violence.

Primary care plays an important role in the initial management of concussion injuries and the prevention of adverse outcomes, but assessment can be difficult due to what Dr Cowen refers to as ‘the constellation of symptoms with which patients can present.”

Symptoms of concussion can be evolving and can include cognitive, mood related, migrainoid, sleep related, vestibular-ocular and autonomic symptomatology.

“It is recommended that anyone who has sustained a potential concussion seeks medical assessment for diagnostic confirmation in the company of a responsible adult,” Dr Cowen said.

To support GPs to optimise both short term and long-term outcomes for patients who have sustained a concussion, the WA Primary Health Alliance Training and Communities of Practice team has worked with Dr Cowen to deliver the upcoming Concussion management in general practice webinar on 6 September 2022.

An expert panel will provide evidence-based information on concussion management including the latest resources and an overview of the ‘Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussion)’ HealthPathway recently developed by the WA Primary Health Alliance; HealthPathways WA team.

Along with Dr Cowen the presenting panel of experts will include SHIU Case Coordinator, Dianne Mitchell, SHIU Senior Physiotherapist, Erika Lori, SHIU clinical Neuropsychologist Dr Rachael Mumme.

As outlined in Concussion – it’s not all sports related! it is hoped that with consistency of management and optimisation of care in patients who have sustained a concussion, both short term and long-term outcomes can be optimised.

Read more of Dr Cowen’s article and the latest clinical updates for primary care in the August edition of GP Connect.