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A concussion is an injury best defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces.  You do not have to play a sport, lose consciousness  or hit your head hard to sustain a concussion and have symptoms, which typically include any combination of the following:

Physical Symptoms

• Headache
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Balance problems
• Fatigue
• Sensitivity to light
• Numbness/tingling
• Dazed
• Stunned

Cognitive Symptoms

• Feeling mentally “foggy”
• Feeling slowed down
• Difficulty concentrating
• Difficulty remembering
• Forgetful of recent information and conversations
• Confused about recent events
• Answers questions slowly

Emotional Symptoms

• Irritable
• Sad
• More emotional
• Nervous

Sleep Issues

• Drowsiness
• Sleeping more than usual
• Sleeping less than usual
• Difficulty falling asleep

These symptoms are not unique to concussion, and can occur in people with a history of headaches, learning disabilities, mood disorders and other medical conditions; however, sometimes it is hard to know for sure. 

We encourage students to call the Parton Center for Health and Wellness if they think that they may have a concussion and an prompt evaluation can be arranged.  If your injury occurs when Parton is closed, or if you have severe or worsening symptoms, we encourage you to go to the nearest hospital’s Emergency Department.  If you are diagnosed with a concussion, you will be advised to rest, notify your professors and commons dean (see the email template below) and follow our return to function process.  Some students will need to be observed overnight by a roommate or friend and can use the home observation instructions noted in the link below. 


1.  Concussion email notification template for students to send to professors and commons dean

This is a template for students to use (i.e. cut and paste into an email) after a medical visit  when notifying  professors and commons deans about their concussion.

2.  Concussion Symptom Checklist

This is used by patients with a concussion to list symptoms and score intensity of symptoms.  It can be printed and brought to medical appointments.

 3.  Home Observation Instructions for Caregivers of Concussed Middlebury College Students

A set of instructions for a responsible adult student who agrees to monitor a concussed student overnight to be sure they get medical attention if they are getting worse. 

 4.  Middlebury College Concussed Student Return to Academics and Activity Guidance

A set of detailed instructions on how to return to academic activity and then athletic activity after a concussion.  It is intended to be reviewed with a health care provider.  The return to activity section carries all the way through to return to contact/ collision sports which may not apply to all students; however, the earlier steps should be followed.

 5.   Quick Reference Guide: Pathways at the CTLR

Information from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research.  Once recovered and functioning normally with respect to academics, students are encouraged to contact CTLR to help assess their academic situation and create a plan for catching up with work missed during the concussion.

 6.  Counseling at the Parton Center for Health and Wellness

Students can request confidential appointments to speak with counseling staff about any stress, anxiety, or mood changes that are impacting their recovery.

 7.  NESCAC Medical Aspects in Sport Committee Statement on Promoting Cognitive Recovery Following Concussion.

A January 2014 statement, approved by the NESCAC Presidents, that explains the importance of allowing for cognitive rest as students recover from concussion.

 8.  NESCAC Medical Aspects In Sport Committee (MASC) Return to Function Process for Concussed Students.

A brief description of the NESCAC-President-approved process directing students to gradually return to academic activity, followed by the gradual return to physical activity.

Parton Center for Health and Wellness