Concussion can not be diagnosed through any one question, sign, symptom or test. It requires multiple modes of assessment that may well need repeating.
Concussion symptoms can present after 24 – 48hrs. Only 50% occur immediately and 47% occur in the absence of physical signs* This is what makes it such a difficult injury to diagnose and manage, especially in sport. (*ECB guidelines 2018)
There are useful pitch side tools available to assist in concussion recognition http://https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/47/5/267.full.pdf
Also pitch side evaluation tools for medical professionals to use SCAT5https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/early/2017/04/26/bjsports-2017-097506SCAT5.full.pdf
These tools help recognise a concussion, however, a referral to a doctor is required to make a concussion diagnosis. Any adult or child returning to sport after a suspected concussion should be cleared by a doctor to do so, as pitch side assessment tools are not valid in their use to rule out a concussion.
Because this is a complex process, concussion is not only easily missed and under-diagnosed, but often results in an unsuccessful return to school, work and sport. This is why seeking advice from a health care professional is vital to a full recovery post concussion. Post concussion recovery guidelines are coming up next..