A private-practice pediatrician with more than three decades of relevant experience, Lloyd Takao. MD, maintains and provides care from his office in Orinda, California spanning issues such as asthma and ADHD. Emphasizing 24/7 emergency response at his patient-centered practice, Dr. Lloyd Takao provides care for issues such as concussions, which are of rising concern affecting young people in or out of sports nationwide.
With the long-term impact of repeated head injuries on cognitive and physical functioning well-documented, concussions can occur from a variety of causes, including whiplash, forceful shaking, blows, and rapid neck and head rotation. Often occurring without a loss of consciousness, traumatic brain injuries may go unrecognized on the playground or athletic field.
In cases of a suspected concussion, the first step involves evaluating symptoms and testing cognitive function. Other aspects of physical performance looked at include reaction times, balance, memory retention, and overall motor coordination. Symptoms may subside within hours or weeks, but this does not mean that it is safe to resume normal athletic activities. “Brain rest” that avoids physical exertion, homework studies, school tests, and computer monitors, will help clear many symptoms.
A standard return-to-contact protocol mandates that injured athletes are both cleared by a concussion-management-trained physician and wait at least 10 days from the date of injury before returning to the field.