What's Going Around

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They may not be contagious, but Nurse Practitioner Linda Eckerson at DeWitt Family Medicine, a partner of McLaren-Greater Lansing, is treating high school athletes with concussions and ankle sprains this week.

Let's start with concussions.

Signs of a concussion include: headache, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, amnesia surrounding the traumatic event, dizziness or seeing stars, ringing in the ears, nausea or vomiting, slurred speech, and fatigue.

If a child gets anything more than a bump on the head, you should call the family doctor.

Seek emergency care if someone has a head injury and:
--loses consciousness for more than a minute
--keeps vomiting
--has seizures
--has obvious trouble with mental function or physical coordination

Eckerson is also treating ankle sprains this week.

If your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, it's probably sprained.

With most sprains, you feel pain right away, the ankle swells immediately and may bruise, and it's tender to the touch or hurts to move it.

If you think you have a sprain, see a doctor.

In most cases, immediate treatment includes the PRINCE approach:
--Protect the injury with a brace
--Ice the area for at least one to three days, or until swelling goes down
--NSAIDs or acetaminophen should be taken
--Compress the area with an elastic wrap like an ACE bandage
--Elevate the ankle

Before you return to sports and other activities that put stress on your ankle, it's a good idea to wait until you can hop on your ankle with no pain.

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