ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The kids are out for vacation which means summer sports leagues are in full swing and although there is always a chance for concussions to happen it is important to take the proper precautions. Soccer, football, biking, you name it, there is always a possibility for a hard hit to the head.
"The brain is encompassed by the skull so the injury can lead to many things," said Dr. Sudip Bose of Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. "You can have a fracture of the skull, you can have blood around the surface of the brain or even blood inside the brain, or certain areas of the brain."
A concussion is bruising to the brain. To simplify it even more, imagine you have some bruising to your knee. A CAT scan won't pick up that bruising just like a CT scan won't pick up a concussion.
"What we're looking for is any bleeding or fracture of the skull and if we don't see that, the brain may just have a bruise on it, which is a concussion, just like that knee," said Dr. Bose. "If it's not a broken bone, it's just bruised."
But what lands patients underneath a CAT scan in the first place?
"Typically when a patient comes into the emergency department, depending on what we find on their neurological exam, we'll order a CAT scan where the patients will lie flat on a CAT scan table and the tray will go into this donut-shaped structure and this allows us to view everything," said Dr. Bose. "What happens many times, is the patient gets hit and they have a normal CAT scan but that doesn't mean their brain is not injured."
And in that case, the proper procedures still need to be followed even if the CAT scan does not suggest anything major.
"With a concussion, just as any part of the body, you need to rest and we often forget that," said Dr. Bose. "When someone has a concussion, they may be having symptoms of dizziness, blurred vision and they may feel sick to their stomach."