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Life Savers 24 HR Emergency Room
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Concussion
                                
A concussion is type of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  It is usually caused by blunt blow or violent shaking to the head that causes the brain to move back and forth rapidly.  This sudden movement of the brain can cause damage of the brain cells and create chemical changes in the brain.
 
Concussions are very common, especially during contact sports activities.  The brain is well protected inside the skull, however, a blunt head trauma may cause the brain to slide back and forth against the inner lining of skull. The brain tissue being extremely delicate may be distorted causing the signs and symptoms of concussion. It leads to alteration of brain function that is usually temporary. The duration of symptoms may vary from days to years. In the majority of cases, symptoms resolve within days.
             
Symptoms of concussion may include:
             
Brief (<30 sec) loss of consciousness
Appearing dazed
Dizziness
Confusion
Slurred speech
Ringing in the ears
Blurring of vision
Headache
Nausea
Vomiting
Loss of memory of events surrounding the trauma (Amnesia)
 
Some delayed and longer lasting symptoms may include
 
Personality changes
Sensitivity to light and noise
Changes in eating or sleeping habits
Inability to concentrate
Depression and other psychological problems
 
Symptoms may be subtle and often times difficult to judge in children especially young children who may not be able to communicate how they feel. In young children, the following signs may be present after a brain injury:
 
Listlessness
Loss of interest in playful activities
Persistent vomiting
Drowsiness and increased sleepiness
Excessive crying
Change in eating or sleeping patterns
 
Potential complications of a concussion include:
 
Seizures
Postconcussion syndrome. A collection of symptoms including headaches, dizziness, mood swings, personality changes, fatigue, and thinking difficulties that develop a few days after a concussion.
Post-traumatic headaches. Headaches that occur a few days to weeks after a concussion has occurred.
Post-traumatic dizziness.
Second impact syndrome. This is caused by experiencing a second concussion prior to the brain’s recovery from the first concussion and may result in rapid, often fatal, brain swelling.
 
It is important for anyone who has had a brain injury to be evaluated by a medical doctor. A cranial computed tomography (CT) scan is the test of choice performed in the emergency room.
 
It is important that the brain be allowed to rest after an injury has occurred. Sports activities should be avoided as well as any vigorous activity.  Activities that would require a significant amount of focused attention should be minimized including schoolwork, video games, texting, and TV.   
 
At Life Savers Emergency Room, we are prepared and equipped to evaluate concussions and perform the necessary emergent imaging necessary for your care. 
 
 
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