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CONCUSSION

OVERVIEW

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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