Concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head, but can also occur in whiplash type injuries, where a blow to another body part results in rapid movement to the head. Concussions can happen to anyone at any age. However, children and adolescent athletes are more susceptible to concussion and they take longer to recover from concussion-related injuries.
Although they often resolve without medical intervention, concussions result in significant costs to individuals and their families, recreation and sport organizations, schools, employers, and society at large, including the healthcare system. In BC, the estimated healthcare costs of concussion in 2019 were approximately $16.3 million in emergency department visits, $15.6 million in hospitalizations, and $21.7 million in disability. However, these costs are an underestimate as concussions are underreported. Costs incurred by patients seen at doctor’s offices, walk in clinics, or treated at home are not included in these estimates. The Government of British Columbia agrees that this is an important issue worthy of attention and investment, as declared in its proclamation.
Early recognition of concussion, proper follow up care by a healthcare professional with relevant training, and appropriate management make a difference in recovery. British Columbians need to be prepared, just in case. They need simple, easy-to-follow steps on how to care for a concussion or where to find good information.