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Concussion Awareness Campaign launched in North Bay

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After a crash, most people tell first responders they’re okay, but that isn’t usually the case. Many refuse medical treatment because they think they’re fine. Few people realize they may have suffered a concussion because the signs of a brain injury might only be evident hours or days after the fact. First responders of all stripes were on hand in the Memorial Gardens parking lot this morning to launch the Concussion Awareness campaign. Over the next six months, first responders will be providing an informational card on the subject of concussions to individuals involved in any kind of car crash, but in particular minor collisions, who may have suffered a concussion but refused medical attention.

Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre spokesperson, Pat Cliché says there is no research out there right now about the number of people involved in minor collisions who might have suffered a concussion. Cliché says in most cases people who’ve been involved in a collision don’t want to go to the hospital. Cliché says that’s a problem because concussion symptoms don’t show up immediately, they can develop over time. She says first responders can’t determine who’s suffered a concussion, only doctors and nurses can. Cliché says this campaign is more educational than anything because they can’t make people go to the hospital if they don’t want to.

The informational cards that first responders will hand out explain what a concussion is and the symptoms associated. Those can include seizures, repeated vomiting, loss of consciousness, blackouts, slurred speech and bleeding from the nose or ears. There are also emotional concussion symptoms. People may experience irritability, personality changes, strange emotions, sadness, anxiety and depression. The Ontario Injury Prevention Practitioners Network will collect the results of the campaign when it wraps up, and a final tally will be presented to the public.

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