Concussions: Not Just for Athletes

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Many of us hear about concussions daily and probably see something about them on the national news. While concussions can be scary, it doesn’t mean we should wrap ourselves in bubble wrap and just sit on the couch.


What is a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury. It occurs when the brain strikes the inside of the skull.

It’s important to:

• Beware of the danger of concussions

• Know the symptoms

• Understand they can happen to anyone

• We can make sure football and hockey players have up-to-date helmets and that our athletes/ children are learning proper hitting and tackling techniques.

• We can educate coaches, parents and athletes about concussions, their symptoms and the importance of early diagnosis.

Who can get a concussion?

While concussions are most likely to happen in contact sports, it’s important to remember that anyone can get a concussion. In Minnesota, it isn’t unheard of that someone gets a concussion from slipping on the ice and hitting their head on the ground.

Any blow to the head, some of which can seem harmless can cause a concussion.

  • falling off a ladder
  • falling in the bathtub
  • tripping on a rug

Possible Symptoms: 


While anyone can get a concussion, it’s important to remember that no concussion is the same. People react differently and there’s no set timeline saying how long a concussion will last.

Next steps:

• Plenty of rest

• Limit participation in sports, playing video games, watching TV or socializing excessively

• Develop a “Return to Normal Activities” plan after acute symptoms improve

• Follow recommendations of healthcare professionals

Symptoms of a concussion can sometimes be difficult to detect so if you think you may have suffered a concussion, let your doctor know right away. The best way to treat a concussion is to rest your brain. If you return to normal activities too soon and your symptoms return, your brain is letting you know it is still injured and needs a break. By not letting your brain heal completely, you are putting yourself at risk for long term brain injury and increasing your risk for future concussions. Bottom line: Don’t “play through the pain” as this may have serious long-term consequences.

Dr. Folkestad

Dr. Folkestad


About the Author: Dylan Folkestad, MD, is a Family Medicine Physician at our Henning Clinic. He received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Minnesota and completed his resident at HealthEast’s St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, MN. Dr. Folkestad lives near Miltona with his wife and two children. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and helping with his family farm located near Bertha, MN.

April is Donate Life Month

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Donate Life Month

Did you know that anyone, regardless of their age, can be an organ or tissue donor? That is right! We can all be life savers at any age. Our medical condition at the time of our death determines what organs and tissues can be donated. We can also become a living donor.

Did you know…

  • Every 10 minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list and on average 22 people die every day while waiting for a transplant.
  • One donor can save and heal as many as 60 lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. More than 90% of the patients waiting for a transplant can be helped by a living donor.
  • Organs and tissues that can be transplanted include heart and heart valves, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, intestines, corneas, skin, tendons and bone.
  • 64% of all adults in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are registered donors.

** Statistical information courtesy of LifeSource

All major religions approve of organ/tissue donation and consider it to be an act of charity. Pope Francis has been quoted as stating that donation is “a testimony of love of our neighbor”. The gift of life is the most precious gift we can give.

You too can register to become a donor at and your decision to be a donor should be noted on your driver’s license. It is also important to discuss your decision to donate with your family. That knowledge will be a gift to them.

Celebrate Life Flag Raising Event
Come and join us as we celebrate life on April 8 at 9 a.m. We will hear from a local resident who received a heart transplant as a teenager and from the mother of a teen who was a recent donor. Their stories of love promise to be most inspiring. Our Donate Life flag will be raised that day and will be flown for the remainder of April as we recognize Donate Life month.

The flag raising ceremony will be held on Friday, April 8 at 9 a.m. All donor families, transplant recipients, friends and the public are invited to gather outside the Emergency Room entrance of Tri-County Health Care, near the flag pole. A press release about this event can be found on the Tri-County Health Care website at

About the Author:
Lois Miller graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of St. Benedict in 1976 and since then has worked as a Registered Nurse (RN) at Tri-County Health Care. Since 1992, Lois has worked with the organ/tissue donation program and has worked with patients as they have waited for and received transplants. Lois has a close friend who is currently in need of a kidney transplant. Lois is pictured here with her dog Yoku, a Westie Terrier Mix.