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Concussion Services

Teen girl heading soccer ballA concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions are typically caused by a bump or jolt to the head, but also by a fall or a blow to the body that makes the head and brain move quickly back and forth. Concussions are usually not life-threatening, and most people with a concussion make a quick and full recovery. However, the effects of a concussion can be serious, and can last for weeks or even longer.

It may take longer for older adults, young children, and teens to recover. If you've had a concussion before, you are at higher risk of having another one, and may also take longer to recover.

Legacy Concussion Program: 503-672-6005

Concussion signs and symptoms
When to go to an ER for a concussion or suspected concussion
Our services
Concussion toolkit
Return to Learn and Play -handout for parents, athletes, teachers and trainers 

In the news

Dr. Jon Buchanan talks concussions, specifically around youth athletes. 
"Don’t get sidelined by a concussion: How to recognize and treat them," Pamplin Media Group, May 2016.

Dr. John Buchanan discusses concussion

  1. Concussion information for parents

    Brain image

    Concussions can occur even when a child does not lose consciousness – only about 10% of kids actually do. In most cases, symptoms are mild and the best course is to for the child to see their doctor as soon as possible. There are some symptoms that appear with a more serious injury to the brain.

    When to take your child to the emergency room.

    What do I do if I think my child might have a concussion?

    Remove the athlete from playing.  If an athlete gets a bump or blow to their head or body, look for concussion signs and symptoms. When in doubt, remove the athlete from playing. 
    Make sure your child is seen by a doctor who knows about concussion. Do not try to judge the injury yourself. Doctors have methods they use to assess the concussion severity.
    Don’t let the athlete play again until a doctor says they can.
    A concussion occurring before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. This usually happens within a short period of time: hours, days or weeks. In rare cases, repeat concussions can lead to edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage and even death.

    Recovering from a concussion

    Resting is important! After a concussion, your child should rest for at least 24 hours. Healing takes time, they may need more rest than this. 

    Follow these tips to help your child rest their brain and recover from concussion:
    Make sure they get enough rest. Keep them on a regular sleep schedule. No late nights or sleepovers, schoolwork, homework or use of technology (computers, tablets, TV, video games, cell phones and headphones) until cleared by their pediatrician.
    Limit loud noises and loud music (no headphones). No parties, concerts, pep rallies, etc.
    Do not allow your child to be around bright lights.
    Make sure your child does not do anything involving high risk or speed or that might cause a blow to the head or body.
    Do not allow your child to drive or work until cleared by their pediatrician.
    Give your child only drugs that are approved by their doctor. Don’t use aspirin or ibuprofen for headaches. Only use acetaminophen (Tylenol).

    Returning to school and sports

    A child who has had a concussion should not return to school until their doctor says they can. Before returning to sports, your child should be completely free of symptoms and participating in school fully. Once cleared by their doctor, your child should return to activities gradually. It would be best to have a certified athletic trainer supervise your child during this time. If your child starts to show any signs the concussion has returned, the brain might not have healed yet. Have your child stop doing activities or reduce their school and homework load.

    How long will signs and symptoms last?

    With rest and gradual return to activity symptoms should resolve within 1-2 weeks. If your child still has symptoms after 2-3 weeks, their doctor may refer them to a specialist, such as a neurologist, neuropsychologist, neurosurgeon, sports medicine doctor or rehabilitation specialist or to a concussion program, such as Legacy Health’s Concussion Program - 503-672-6005. 


  2. Concussion information for coaches

    Concussion info for coaches

    Download the PDF here

  3. Concussion information for kids

    Download the PDF here

    Concussion info for kids