OKLAHOMA CITY - Travon Smith is getting a concussion test by Certified Concussion Specialist Brendon McCollom.
He's been through this drill in the past after suffering two concussions while wrestling in high school and college.
"Kind of blacked out for a minute and then, when I got up, my coach, of course, walked up at the end of the match. Just a series of confusion. Not knowing where I was for a little bit,” Smith said.
Smith didn't go to a doctor to get checked out that day and ended up suffering from a series of horrible headaches.
"We didn't really have concussion protocol or anything. It more so 'Just go sit down. We'll take you out for the rest of the day and, if you feel better the next day, you can go," he said.
Dr. Brendon McCollom sees at least one concussion patient a day at his office, which is why he's warning parents and coaches about all the signs.
"It's important for coaches, parents, teachers to recognize there's something different and not take that upon themselves to make that decision but to have them evaluated,”said McCollom at Mercy Clinic Primary Care.
He recommends an athlete see a specialist within three days of a head injury.
"A lot of times, with the endorphins rushing, especially with football or wrestling or a really competitive sport, the endorphins are rushing, so sometimes they're overlooked," he said.
Some of the signs of a concussion include the following:
- Drop In Grades At School
- Sensitivity to Light and Noise
McCollom puts patients through a series of tests - from physical activity like pushups to simple brain exercises.
"Spell world backwards," he tells Smith to do.
An MRI isn't always a necessary part of the diagnosis.
"Unless it's a certain type of MRI, you're not going to see that because you're looking at the structure of it. You're like 'Well, the bone's okay' but you're not showing anything around it,'” McCollom said.
And, he warns - the more concussions a person gets the worse their symptoms can be.
All the more reason to play safely.
Starting next week, one Mercy clinic will stay open until midnight on Thursday and Friday to take in concussion patients a little later. That clinic is Mercy Convenient Care -Edmond I-35.
To schedule an appointment, call 755-4050.
They said they will try to get concussion patients in as soon as possible.
McCollom sees more soccer players than any other sport when it comes to concussions.