Concussion Prevention & Education
The Center offers comprehensive assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation services for individuals who have had a concussion. We care for children, adolescents, and adults who have sustained concussions while playing sports or in daily life.
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. It is a serious condition that requires specialized medical expertise. The majority of concussions are not associated with a loss of consciousness. After an injury to the head, a person with a concussion may not be able to recall events around the injury time, may appear dazed or stunned, be confused, move clumsily, speak slowly, or have other behavior changes. Other concussion symptoms include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, dizziness, confusion, and changes in attention, concentration, and/or memory.
What To Do If You Suspect a Concussion
If you suspect you, or your child, has a concussion, you do not need to make an appointment. Walk-in appointments are available between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. through NOWcare at The Center in Bend. If you have already been diagnosed with a concussion by a healthcare professional, but need additional concussion care for lingering symptoms, call 541-322-2352 to make an appointment.
At the first appointment, the patient will be evaluated by a neurosurgeon or physical medicine and rehabilitation provider, trained in concussion management. Patients will leave with a customized plan to get them back to activity. The appointment may include:
- Cognitive testing
- Assessment for school accommodations
- Assessment for speech therapy. (This is sometimes needed to give strategies for children that compensate for symptoms of confusion, lack of concentration, or problems multi-tasking.)
- Vision assessment
- Social/emotional evaluation; if a patient is depressed or has anxiety about concussion, they may need to see a neuropsychologist for more in-depth assessment
- Balance assessment
- Neck pain and injury assessment; with referrals to physical therapy as needed
Dr. Viviane Ugalde holds a weekly concussion clinic on Fridays to help patients manage the symptoms that can linger for months after their injury.
On the third Friday of every month, Dr. Ugalde leads a multidisciplinary concussion clinic with providers from High Desert Education Service District (HDESD), neuropsychologists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. For more information, ask your primary care provider or call The Center at 541-382-3344.
Collaborative Concussion Support in Schools
When a student has a concussion, it’s critical that the school staff knows what to do to ensure the student’s best chance of concussion recovery. The Center interfaces with the athletic trainers in Bend, La Pine, Crook County, and Sisters high schools, this allows us to implement our concussion treatment protocols within the high schools. Often times, the follow-up baseline testing can be done at the high school. When a younger child has a concussion, we keep in close touch with school nurses and counselors. If there are more complex needs, we work closely with High Desert Education Service District (HDESD) to ensure that we provide collaborative support.