Concussions Are Serious

If you have suffered a blow to the head and had a period of unconsciousness from the head trauma, you have probably suffered some level of brain injury. It may be minor but you should be aware that you need to be examined by a trained physician, preferably a neurologist or neurosurgeon immediately. You may need a CAT Scan or MRI or some other type of test to make sure you do not have bleeding in your skull or brain.

You should take any head trauma very seriously and act accordingly. Your life may be at stake.

If you think you or someone you know has suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, contact your doctor immediately. Your health care provider can refer you to a neurologist, neuropsychologist, or neurosurgeon. Getting help as soon as possible after the injury by trained specialists may speed recovery or save your life.

Symptoms of a concussion can include a period of unconsciousness, vomiting, confusion, and visual problems. Amnesia can be retrograde amnesia (loss of memories that were formed before the injury) or anterograde amnesia (loss of memories formed post-injury). Most concussion amnesias are much more likely to be anterograde (also called Post Traumatic Amnesia or PTA). This type of amnesia is the inability to create and save new memories. Amnesia may not become apparent until the next day or the next week.

People with a concussion may act confused, for example repeatedly asking the same questions, or forgetting where they are. They may have focal neurological deficits, signs that a specific part of the brain is not working correctly.

Since concussions may not always include damage to the brain's structure, patients with uncomplicated concussions often improve. But brain damage is a process, and not just based on a single event. A concussion may set into motion many different pathological processes which may worsen over time. Early treatment is important.

The concussions that result in permanent, long term, deficits, often do get worse over the first few days. A deteriorating level of consciousness may mean that the patient has another problem such as a worse type of head injury. Similarly, persistent vomiting, worsening headache, ringing in the ears, drowsiness, unequal pupil size, and increasing disorientation are all indicative of a rise in intracranial pressure. In the typical serious concussion, the process of the injury and damage is progressive.

The most critical mistake for those suffering from a concussion is that they do not return for further medical care and evaluation within 24 to 72 hours after the concussion. Athletes are usually followed closely by team trainers during such period but those injured in accidents may be sent home with no medical person monitoring them unless the situation gets worse. If the person had a concussion yesterday, and they don't have a clear recollection of the time period between the concussion and today, they are likely suffering from Post Traumatic Amnesia, and are more likely to have long term or permanent problems.

Please read the article: Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries if you would like more information on some of the signs and symptoms of brain injuries.

If you've been injured and sustained a head injury, see a doctor immediately to make sure that your injury is properly treated and CALL DEAN GOETZ AT 858-481-8844.