Kalispell Regional Healthcare is hosting its second annual “Save the Brain” conference on Aug. 9. The two-hour lunchtime event, held at the hospital, will give educators, parents, coaches and others information on how to spot the signs of a concussion.
Jamie Mack, the Save the Brain project coordinator, said conferences like this are important as the number of concussions suffered by young people is on the rise.
“The presentations will help people understand the issues facing students and young people who have had a concussion,” Mack said.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head that results in the brain rapidly moving back and forth and slamming against the inner skull. It can cause headaches, confusion and loss of consciousness. Long-term effects of a severe concussion can include memory loss, losing the ability to speak, struggles with coordination and balance, and emotional issues. It can take weeks or months to recover from a concussion, and multiple concussions can result in permanent disability or even death.
Every year, a quarter million people in the U.S. go to the emergency room following a concussion, and it’s estimated millions more go untreated or unnoticed. The Brain Injury Research Institute estimates that nearly 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur nationwide annually. Forty-seven percent of all youth sports concussions are the result of high school football, and the number of concussion-related emergency room visits among teenagers has doubled in the last decade.
Mack said doctors and therapists will be speaking at the conference, which is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch.
Although the event is free, those looking to attend are encouraged to register ahead of time at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-concussion-conference-for-educators-community-members-tickets-46326727489.
The event will take place in the Lupine Conference Room at Kalispell Regional Medical Center from 12 to 2 p.m. on Aug. 9.