By: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.
Concussions Are Serious
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.
Because the brain is very complex, every brain injury is different. Some symptoms may appear right away, while others may not show up for days or weeks after the concussion. Sometimes the injury makes it hard for people to recognize or to admit that they are having problems.
The signs of concussion can be subtle. Early on, problems may be missed by patients, family members, and doctors. People may look fine even though they’re acting or feeling differently.
Because all brain injuries are different, so is concussion recovery. Most people with mild injuries recover fully, but it can take time. Some symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer.
In general, recovery is slower in older persons. Also, persons who have had a concussion in the past may find that it takes longer to recover from their current injury.
People with a concussion need to be seen by a doctor. While most are seen in an emergency department or a doctor’s office, some people must stay in the hospital overnight.
Your doctor may do a scan of your brain (such as a CT scan) or other tests. Other tests, known as “neuropsychological” or “neurocognitive” tests, assess your learning and memory skills, your ability to pay attention or concentrate, and how quickly you can think and solve problems. These tests can help your doctor identify the effects of a concussion. Even if the concussion doesn’t show up on these tests, you may still have a concussion.
Your doctor will send you home with important instructions to follow. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions carefully.
If you are taking medications—prescription, over-the-counter medicines, or “natural remedies”—or if you drink alcohol or take illicit drugs, tell your doctor. Also, tell your doctor if you are taking blood thinners (anticoagulant drugs), such as Coumadin and aspirin, because they can increase the chance of complications.
Read more about 8 concussion signs to look for at:
Contact Car Accident Lawyer Northland Injury Law
Northland Injury Law is a Kansas City concussion law firm that has been representing victims of car accidents with TBI or other injuries for over 30 years. Being sensitive to the signs of a concussion and to the catastrophic effects a concussive injury can lead to has made Northland Injury Law well equipped to handle these cases. Call us at 816-400-4878 for a free assessment of your car accident case.