What You Need to Know About Concussions
Written by Greg on September 4, 2014
For anyone that has suffered any kind of head trauma, one’s knowledge of concussions can easily dictate whether or not the individual should go to the hospital or if the injury should be taken as serious, but not needing immediate medical attention.
According to Brainline, an organization that works to prevent, treat, and aid those that have suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) a concussion can be defined as “a result of a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.”
While most individuals might chalk up any kind of head injury as “not being too serious”, the research indicates that even the most minor of concussions can have a wide range of psychological or physical effects.
In addition, the research also notes that, while many signs and symptoms of a serious issue can arise just minutes after a traumatic head injury, other signs may take days or even weeks to develop. Thus, it is imperative that one recognizes the symptoms of a concussion in order to potentially prevent ongoing or additional trauma to the injured individual.
Thus, keep in mind the following concussion symptoms, broken down by subset:
Emotional and Cognition
- The individual cannot think clearly and has trouble concentrating.
- The individual cannot recall old information or store new information.
- The individual feels as if they are “slowed down.”
- The individual has an abrupt change in mood, such as being easily angered or upset, sad, anxious, or nervous.
- The individual is overall more emotional than normal.
- The presence of a headache, whether minor or moderate.
- Blurred or fuzzy vision.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Sensitivity to light or varying noise levels.
- Problems with coordination and balance.
- Sleeping more or less than usual.
- Feeling more tired than usual or having no energy.
- Having a hard time trying to fall asleep.
For young children, one should consider the following:
- Crying more than usual.
- Changes in behavior, such as throwing “temper tantrums”, become easily agitated or upset, or noticeable changes during play.
- Continued headache.
- Changes in sleeping patterns, nursing, or sleep.
- Disinterest in favorite toys or activities.
- Loss of acquired skills; for example, having trouble with toilet training after already mastering this feat.
- Loss of balance and overall trouble with coordination.
- Trouble concentrating.
If you notice someone with any of the above symptoms after a head injury, the first thing to do is to remain calm. By panicking, one will make the situation worse by not being able to fully understand the scope of the situation and/or being unable to render aid or seek after help.
Next, one should seek immediate medical attention by driving the individual to an emergency department, or by simply calling 911.
No matter what option is selected, it is important to stay with the individual, gauging their level of consciousness until the individual can be seen by a paramedic, doctor, or other medical official.
Understanding these measures can potentially help save a life!