It is no secret that many athletes have ended up with concussions, especially the hands on sports such as football, rugby, lacrosse, etc. Although not just sports are the reason behind having something like this happen, it can happen for various reasons. For those of you not sure of what a concussion, a concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head, or a violent shaking of the head and body. No matter the reason the person has the concussion, a concussion is a serious injury that can be life threatening if not handled correctly. There was a movie out this recent year called “Concussion” starring Will Smith and it basically was about how athletes in the sport of football have suffered from head injuries and how the corporation did not see a problem with the situation and did nothing about it for awhile, but I guess Will Smith decided he would find a way to make a difference in the system so that concussions would be taken more seriously in the industry. I have yet to see the movie, but based on what others have told me and what I have read on it, that was my take on it. However if you are someone who has watched the movie, feel free to share more information.
The reason I believe concussions become an “ignored” issue with certain industries (although I am not sure it isn’t taken seriously these days), is because we assume that when people are athletes they know the possibly of injury and so it is considered “norm” to have suffered something, especially in the game of football. We all know that injury is bound to happen when you play any sport, some athletes are luckier than others and have had little no injuries and others have had an abundance that have cost them their career.
We also know as people in general, we can get injured just walking down the sidewalk, it doesn’t take much for us to get hurt when we are constantly living life. Most of us don’t think of the possibilities that could happen just going for a stroll at the nearby park or driving to work; because the likeliness seems slim to none of something going horribly wrong. Children are at high risk of having head injuries because of horseplay or falling downstairs or riding their bicycle, so when we put this injury into perspective, anyone can get a concussion. Hopefully none of my readers have had a loved one suffer from a concussion or themselves, but I do believe in knowing what to look for and knowing how to handle this injury is very important in case you are ever put into a situation where you believe someone close to you has one.
For starter the signs and symptoms of a concussion don’t always show immediately and may take time before you realize anything, so keep this in mind as you read through this information. Obviously it would go without saying to call 911 immediately and try to be as calm as possible in a situation like this, so that you can think things through and speak with the operator.
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head.
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Appearing dazed
- Concentration or memory complaints
- irritability and personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Depression & psychological adjustment issues
- Disorders in taste & smell
There are many other signs/symptoms that I may not have mentioned, so do not base everything off this list but do take it in consideration when necessary.
Signs/Symptoms for children (nonverbal):
- Appearing dazed
- Tiring easy & listlessness
- Irritability and crankiness
- Loss of balance & unsteady walking
- Crying excessively
- Change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Lack of interest in favorite toys
Again this list does not mention all the signs and symptoms, and children can have some of the same signs/symptoms as adults, it is said to take yourself and/or child to the hospital within 1 to 2 days of an incident, although knowing myself, I would do it right away no matter to cover all ends.
- Participating in a high risk sport
- Being involved in a motor vehicle accident
- Being involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident
- Soldiers involved in combat
- Being a victim of physical abuse
- Having a bad previous concussion
These are just a few risk factors that higher a person’s chances of having a concussion, although there are other ways, so I recommend you do more research if necessary.
Complications that can come of a concussion:
- Cumulative multiple brain injuries
- Post concussion syndrome
- Post traumatic headaches
- Post traumatic vertigo
- “Second impact” syndrome – experiencing a second concussion before signs/symptoms of the first concussion resolve
I am not a medical doctor of any sorts, so I would highly recommend speaking with a professional if you have further questions or concerns. Thank you. Most concussions can be prevented through using proper safety equipment and attire, BUT not all will be preventive, just take precautions if possible.
Important reminder when handling someone with a concussion:
- Assess for physical symptoms/signs
- Assess for bleeding
- Assess for cognitive symptoms
- Assess consciousness
- Mind concussion can be treated with ice and Tylenol (do not use Ibuprofen and aspirin because it can cause bruising and bleeding)
- Ask the victim questions
- Stay with the victim
- Avoid strenuous activity after a concussion
- Don’t allow them to drive after a concussion
- Have them rest mentally and physically