What Is Concussion?
Normally associated with some sort of bang or blow to the head, a concussion indicates that the brain is being adversely affected from the impact. The patient does not have to have been knocked unconscious to suffer from concussion. Be in no doubt that because there is the chance of damage to the brain, concussion is serious and requires first aid.
It doesn’t matter what caused the injury, from the poorly timed swing of a sports racket, a clash of heads during an activity, a fall, etc; any concussion is serious.
Concussion is a temporary injury to the brain and it can last from a few days to a few weeks.
It is vital that first aiders are aware of the symptoms of concussion because it can also lead to bruising of the brain tissues or bleeding within the skull to cause compression which can become life threatening.
So what would be warning signs? What should you be looking for in a suspected case of concussion?
- Change in personality of the casualty, perhaps irritability
- A change from normal alertness in the casualty
- Persistent headache since the incident
- Nausea or vomiting since the incident
- Memory loss about the incident or before the incident
- Unusually sleepy
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Suspicion of a skull fracture
- Any seizure since the accident
- New deafness in one or more ears
If you suspect concussion immediately after a blow to the head, or in the case of a severe head injury you should get someone to dial 999 while you administer first aid.
If you suspect concussion at any point even a few hours after a blow to the head you should get advice from 111 or visit your nearest A&E.
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