What to Do When You Have a Concussion

What to Do When You Have a Concussion

Feb 01, 2020

Did you know approximately 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur every year? Making it the most common form of head injury that people endure.

A concussion is a mild brain injury that occurs when the brain is violently shaken resulting in an altered mental state. Concussions are not life-threatening, but they have serious symptoms and complications that need medical treatment. Regardless of whether the concussion is mild or severe, knowing what to do when it occurs can prevent any further complications.

1. Know the Symptoms

The concussion symptoms vary depending on the severity of the impact of the injury and the age of the person. Some people may experience loss of consciousness when a concussion occurs and others may not. It is, therefore, important to understand the symptoms. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Balance problems
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Unequal pupil size
  • Irritability
  • Slurred speech
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Seizures
  • Lasting confusion
  • These symptoms may occur immediately or over some time.

Babies and children can also have concussions, but the symptoms may not be obvious at first since they don’t have sluggish or slurred speech. It is crucial to have the children assessed by the doctor as soon as the injury occurs. However, some of the symptoms to watch out for include irritability, drowsiness, vomiting and drainage from the nose and ears.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Rarely, concussions cause brain damage, but you still need to seek urgent treatment if you are in doubt about the symptoms. Visit our emergency care in Baytown, when you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Progressive and worsening concussion symptoms
  • Seizures
  • Unusual behavior
  • Difficulty in eye movements
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Difficulty walking

3. Perform First Aid

It is hard to know when a concussion occurs until the doctor examines it. However, to be on the safe side, perform first aid after a head injury occurs. You can follow these tips:

  • Immobilize the head immediately as you wait for the emergency team to arrive. It is safe to assume that a spinal injury occurred until proven otherwise. You can immobilize the head with both hands in the same position you found the patient in, and don’t move them.
  • Apply ice packs to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes every two hours to reduce swelling. Don’t apply the ice directly to the skin to prevent skin bruising.
  • Watch for breathing changes and alertness

It is crucial to monitor the progress of the patient when a concussion occurs. Don’t leave the person alone for the first 24 hours and ensure they are resting. Remember, there will be post-recovery symptoms such as mild headaches, irritability, and light sensitivity. These symptoms may appear weeks or even months after the concussion occurs.

4. Know What to Expect

At Emergency room in Baytown, we take concussions seriously and we will perform different tests to evaluate the type and severity of the injury. Some of the tests we will perform include:

  • Imaging tests such as MRI and CT scans will provide the doctor with a detailed image of the brain and skull.
  • Balance assessment
  • Neuropsychological evaluation measures the effects of the concussions.

After evaluation, the doctor will prescribe medication, but often the resting and limited activity is the recommended treatment of choice. It can take seven to 10 days for the symptoms to clear up, although in some people it may take months to recover.

You can gradually resume normal activities after the symptoms clear up, but avoid high-impact sports until you get a green light from the doctor.

How to Prevent a Recurrence of Concussion?

Although there is no concussion-proof gear or helmet, it is important to wear one. The equipment will protect the head from direct injuries. Additionally, if possible avoid direct head contact when playing sports.

Don’t Take Chances

When a head injury occurs, it is hard to know if there’s a concussion or not. If you are not sure, come to our urgent care near you for an assessment. At Altus Baytown ER, we have a 24-hour emergency room to cater to any emergency, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

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