Signs of a possible concussion

The topic of concussions has often been discussed with football but these type of injuries can occur in any sport, or in everyday life. It is important to be on the lookout for these symptoms if a loved one or even yourself suffers a bump on the head.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that’s caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and to seek medical attention when necessary.

Symptoms of a concussion may appear right away but some may not become apparent for days or months after the injury. The most common symptoms of concussions include the following:

• Thinking/Remembering: difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating, or remembering new information, feeling slowed down

• Physical: headache, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to noise or light, balance problems, feeling tired

• Emotional/Mood: irritability, sadness, nervousness, feeling more emotional

• Sleep: sleeping more or less than usual, or having trouble falling asleep

The key to concussions is knowing the warning signs for more serious concussions and when to seek medical attention. Concussions can lead to blood clots in the brain and lead to more severe TBI.

TBI can lead to impaired thinking, memory, movement, sensation, or emotional function and can even lead to death. Seek medical attention right away if you or someone else experiences the following after a bump, blow or jolt to the head:

• Headache that gets worse and doesn’t go away

• Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination

• Repeated vomiting or nausea

• Slurred speech

If someone with a concussion experiences the following symptoms, they should go to the emergency department immediately:

• Looking very drowsy or cannot wake up

• One pupil larger than the other

• Convulsions or seizures

• Cannot recognize people or places

• Becoming more and more confused, restless, or agitated

• Unusual behavior

• Loss of consciousness

• For children, if they will not stop crying or will not nurse or eat

References:

1 What are the signs and symptoms of concussion? [Internet]. 2017 [cited Sep 3 2017]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/symptoms.html

2 TBI: get the facts [Internet]. 2017 [cited Sep 3 2017]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html

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