Close look on a concussion

A concussion is a momentary grievance to the brain due to a blow, bump or shock to the head. It generally lasts for a few days or weeks, but sometimes require emergency care and some might end up with lasting issues.

What are the indications?

The indications of a concussion typically manifest in a few minutes or hours after sustaining a head injury. In some cases, it might not be evident for a few days, thus it is vital to check for any issues in the days after an injury.

The usual indications include:

concussion

The indications of a concussion typically manifest in a few minutes or hours after sustaining a head injury.

  • Headache that does not settle or could not be relieved by pain medications
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Dazed, stunned or confused
  • Memory loss – individual could not recall what occurred before or after the injury
  • Being knocked out or struggling to stay awake
  • Unusual behavior – individual is easily irritated or have abrupt mood swings
  • Visual changes such as double vision, blurry vision or “seeing stars”

As for infants and young children, a concussion might be difficult to spot. One of the main indications is to check for any changes in their normal behavior after the injury such as crying more, changes in feeding or sleeping habits or lack of interest in objects or people.

What should I do if a concussion is suspected?

There is no need to seek immediate medical care if the individual only has minor symptoms that do not last long after a head injury such as:

  • Headache that settles on its own or alleviated by pain medications
  • Feeling dazed
  • Slight dizziness
  • Feeling sick

It is best to consult a doctor if uncertain if the individual needs medical care.

When to consult a doctor

Bring the individual to the nearest emergency department if the individual has injured the head and have the following:

  • Memory issues
  • Woken up after being knocked out
  • Vomiting after the injury
  • Headache that does not settle
  • Changes in behavior such as being more irritable
  • Been drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs
  • Had a recent operation on the brain in the past or using blood-thinners

Recovery

If an individual has been diagnosed with a concussion, he/she can go home if any serious brain injury has been ruled out and starts to feel better.

In most cases, they feel normal in a few days or weeks of going home. In some cases, especially children, the recovery might take longer.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on – is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to – register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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