A concussion is an injury to the brain that results from trauma to the brain. There is no structural damage to the brain. Head CT or MRI is normal.
During a concussion the brain loses its ability to function normally. Approximately 40% of patients have symptoms lasting longer than three weeks.
Common symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, feeling groggy or mentally slow, irritability, fatigue, difficulty with sleep, confusion, trouble concentrating and a decrease in memory.
Often the person "looks" fine, but has problems functioning.
Brief loss of consciousness may occur, but most individuals who suffer a concussion are never knocked unconscious.
Concussion symptoms are usual reversible. However, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition called Second Impact Syndrome can occur if even a mild head injury occurs while the child still has symptoms from a concussion. If a second injury occurs before the first has completely healed, rapid swelling of the brain can lead to death.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING OCCUR:
- worsening headache
- sudden change in vision
- trouble with balance or walking
- sudden increase in sleepiness or hard to wake up
- inability to recognize people or places
- repeated episodes of vomiting
- unusual behavior or increasing confusion
- any seizure activity - uncontrolled shaking of the arms and/or legs
- numbness or weakness of arms and/or legs
- slurred speech or trouble talking
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