The Problem
CRM: Characteristics—The Problem
Concussion Recognition & Management
Module 2 Characteristics & Epidemiology

The Problem

Concussion = Internal Collision

Brady Beran playing football in high school

This internal collision is hard enough on an adult brain. It seems to be even harder on the developing brain. New research shows that young athletes are especially vulnerable to the effects of concussion.

  • Besides disrupting normal brain development, an initial concussion puts a youth at greater risk for repeat injury and subsequent disability.

  • Some research estimates that 90% of subsequent concussions take place within ten days of the initial concussion because students return to regular activities before they are sufficiently recovered.

  • Athletes, knowingly and unknowingly playing while symptomatic, leave the brain vulnerable to long-term neurological impairment and catastrophic injury, even death.

Brady Beran’s Story

Since 1945, over 510 brain injury fatalities have occurred in football (Mueller, 2010). The highest incidence was recorded between 1965 and 1974, when 162 were reported. But fatalities have declined sharply since then due to implementation of rules to prevent spearing and other causative mechanisms.

In 2013, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services surveyed youth from the Nebraska Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Registry about concussions in sports, revealing some of their behaviors and beliefs regarding concussions. These youth had received medical treatment for and were identified as having concussions.

Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services and Brain Injury Registry logos


Nebraska Sports Concussion


Survey Results

Youth Survey report title page
Select each tab below for more information.
soccer player falls

15.1% reported not being removed from play
after sustaining a concussion,
and an additional 15.1% were removed
at some stopping point in play.

7.5% reported
that no one evaluated them
during the game or practice
in which they sustained a concussion.

view from hoop as girls shoot basket
coach times runners

3.2% reported
playing in other sports
while they were sitting out from the sport
in which they sustained a concussion.

10.8% reported
not feeling fully recovered from their concussion
before returning to athletics.

girl dives into pool
boy football player sits alone on bench

14.1% reported
not feeling confident
that their coach or athletic trainer
will appropriately manage a student
with a suspected concussion
(e.g., remove them from play
and refer for further evaluation).

21.7% reported instances
when they experienced the symptoms of a concussion,
but in order to continue playing,
did not report the symptoms
to a coach or athletic trainer.

boy soccer player sits in locker room & holds head
2 football players collide on field

Of that 21.7% who said they did not report a possible concussion, reasons given for not reporting concussion-like symptoms include:

  • Not thinking it was serious enough (68.4%).

  • Not wanting to be pulled from the game/practice (36.8%).

  • Not knowing it was a concussion (31.8%).

  • Not wanting to let teammates down (15.8%).

Module 2 Characteristics & Epidemiology

Content by

Nebraska Concussion Coalition logo
A collaboration of
  • Colleges and Schools
  • Private Sector
  • Civic Agencies
  • Health Organizations
  • Community Organizations
  • State & County Governmental Entities

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