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What is Second Impact Syndrome?

Although some concussions are easy to detect—blacking out or migraines after a blow to the head, for example—others may not be so easy to spot.

When that happens, or if there’s inadequate recovery time for a diagnosed concussion, someone could be at risk for a subsequent, similar injury. A concussion that happens soon after an initial one is called “Second Impact Syndrome,” and the effects can be serious and even life-threatening.

A concussion occurs when the brain moves inside the skull. This can occur because of a violent event like a car accident or sudden fall, but it’s also become a concern in many sports. Blows to the head such as those experienced in football, soccer, boxing, hockey, karate, and many other sports can lead to temporary brain damage. 

As the brain works to heal, a secondary concussion doesn’t just create a setback, it often worsens the damage to an alarming degree. 

Second Impact Syndrome can cause the brain to start swelling rapidly, potentially causing bleeding. Unfortunately, due to a number of risk factors, the condition has tended to disproportionately affect young athletes, especially those involved in contact sports.

The good news is that this syndrome is rare. But it highlights the dangers of ignoring the signs of an initial concussion. These can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog or confusion
  • Memory loss, particularly around the time of injury
  • Irritability
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Nausea

If you are diagnosed with a concussion, don’t be in a rush to get back to your sport or even push yourself with everyday activities. Everyone recovers from concussions at a different rate because the injury can come with varying degrees of damage.

The best route is to be evaluated by a professional and then monitored under his or her care. It's vital to track symptoms and bring in specialists if needed in order to make sure that a concussion isn't lingering long past the initial injury. 

That kind of measure is crucial for preventing Second Impact Syndrome and letting your brain heal in its own time.

Viverant now offers ImPACT testing (, the ONLY FDA-cleared concussion evaluation and management tool available today. ImPACT is an invaluable tool to help those who may or have suffered a concussion receive the proper care they need to manage their recovery and prevent long-term complications as a result of a concussion.

Contact us today to learn more about ImPACT Testing, and to schedule baseline testing for you, your team, or organization.


The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.

Posted by vivadmin at 9/19/2016 7:40:00 PM
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