Treatment For A Head Injury
While in the emergency department at hospital, you can expect:
- Mild painkillers for any headache
- To have nothing to eat or drink until further advised
- Anti-nausea tablets for any nausea or vomiting
- An x-ray of the neck, if you have any neck pain
- A CT scan, if needed
- For a mild head injury, to be discharged home with family or friends. Ask for a certificate for work, if needed.
Definitely Go To The Emergency Department If:
- You know they bumped their head or experienced shaking or jolting, and
- They have any of the emergency room-worthy symptoms listed for adults
- They just wont stop crying
- They refuse nourishment.
Ultimately, if theres any question as to whether your child is suffering from a concussion, its always better to have your childs doctor check them over than to assume nothing is wrong.
What Causes A Head Injury
There are several causes of head injuries. You may get injured playing a sport or activity. Certain jobs, such as construction, contain risk of a head injury. Children or elderly people may fall around the house and get hurt. Severe head injuries are most likely to occur in a car, motorcycle, or bicycle wreck.
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When Should I Seek Medical Advice After Concussion
After a concussion/mild head injury, it is important that, if possible, you are accompanied by a responsible adult.
While unlikely, there is a small risk of developing complications, so if you experience any of the following concussion signs and symptoms in the next few days you should go to your nearest Emergency Department as soon as possible:
- Loss of consciousness
|DO find out more in our factsheet Mild head injury discharge advice||DON’T play any contact sport for at least three weeks without consulting your doctor|
|DO get further information on when to seek medical attention on the NHS website||DON’T return to driving until you feel you have recovered. If in doubt, consult your doctor.|
The information on this website should not replace a clinical examination. If you have not been examined then contact your GP or call 111. In case of a medical emergency, please call 999.
Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
Be guided by your doctor, but self-care suggestions include:
- Dont drive home from the hospital. Ask someone to give you a lift or catch a taxi.
- Rest quietly for the day.
- Use icepacks over any swollen or painful area.
- Take simple painkillers such as paracetamol for any headache. Check the packet for the right dose.
- Arrange for someone to stay with you for the next 24 hours, in case you need help.
- Dont eat or drink for the first six to 12 hours, unless advised otherwise by the doctor.
- Once you can eat again, have small amounts oflight food and drink in moderation.
- Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours.
- Dont take sedatives or other drugs unless instructed by your doctor.
- Children are allowed to sleep, but should be woken every four hours to check their condition and gauge their reaction to familiar things.
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Concussion Symptoms: Causes How Long They Last And When To Get Help
Concussion symptoms can be confusing. They dont always show up right away, they can come and go, and they dont always go away without extra therapy. We treat concussion patients every day and answer these questions for our patients regularly. Thats why weve put together a guide to concussion symptoms, including:
In case youre in a hurry, weve also put together this signs and symptoms of a concussion checklist:
If you have any of those symptoms, combined with a known head injury, you could have a concussion. Hopefully, the content below will answer a few of the many questions you have.
Note: Have your concussion symptoms lingered for weeks, months, or even years? On average, our patients symptoms improve by 60% after just one week of treatment at our center specializing in post-concussion therapy. To see if you are eligible for treatment,
When Can Teens Go Back To Sports After A Concussion
Student athletes must wait until their health care provider says it’s safe before returning to sports. This means that they:
- have had an exam
- aren’t taking any medicines for concussion symptoms
- are back to their baseline results on physical and cognitive testing
Hurrying back to sports and other physical activities puts teens at risk for second-impact syndrome. This is when someone gets another head injury before the concussion has healed. Although very rare, second-impact syndrome can cause lasting brain damage and even death. Almost every state has rules about when teens with concussions can start playing sports again.
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What Are My Chances Of Full Recovery After Concussion
Most people recover fully within 2 weeks, although children usually take longer to recover. Some people have symptoms for longer, especially people who have had a head injury before.
A small number of people have longer-term complications such as persistent post-concussive syndrome, which is when concussion symptoms continue for longer than 3 months after the event.
If you are concerned about ongoing symptoms after a concussion, see you doctor.
Moderate Or Severe Tbi
Moderate or severe TBIs are typically caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or by a penetrating force like a gunshot. To reiterate, it’s vital to obtain immediate treatment after any injury that could lead to a TBI, regardless of symptoms while symptoms may or may not be evident right away, moderate or severe TBIs can lead to lifelong health impacts, and some severe injuries even lead to death.
Symptoms of a moderate or severe TBI include:
- Headache that persists or gets worse
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Memory difficulties
Severe TBIs may come with memory loss.
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Are There Certain Criteria That I Could See In My Child Adolescent Athlete Or My Elderly Parent That Would Indicate That Immediate Medical Care Is Needed
Yes. Call an ambulance if your child or elderly loved one has lost consciousness for longer than one minute, is not arousable, has a possible neck injury, shows a worsening of symptoms, has numbness that lasts or has weakness on one side of their body . If you have any doubt, its always safest to not move your loved one, call your local emergency department and closely monitor your loved one until help arrives.
How Is A Concussion Treated
You need physical and mental rest to recover from a concussion. Although youll need more rest and sleep than normal, you dont need 100% complete rest. In fact, research has shown that too much mental rest can actually lengthen the recovery period and make you more sensitive to activities when you return to them.
Instead of stopping activities entirely, learn to recognize the triggers that bring on concussion symptoms. Start back slowly, in small amounts. When symptoms occur, back off and rest. Its okay to do some of the activities that dont make you feel worse. Limit any activities that worsen your symptoms.
For example, activities that may bring on symptoms include:
- Texting/spending time looking at your smartphone screen.
- Listening to loud music.
- Doing any physical activity.
As your symptoms improve, you can continue to add more of your activities back into your day.
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Who’s Most At Risk Of A Traumatic Brain Injury
Anyone of any age can get a traumatic brain injury, from infants to seniors. Statistically speaking, though, some populations are at higher risk. Men, for example, get roughly twice as many TBIs as women, according to research.
Other people who are at higher risk of a TBI include:
- Adults over 65 years old
- Adolescents from 15 to 19 years old
- Infants and children under 4 years old
Can Symptoms Of A Concussion Come And Go
Yes, symptoms of a concussion can come and go. Some patients feel great after their initial recovery. Then a few days or weeks later, those symptoms return with ferocity. Why?
It may be that your brain is still using suboptimal pathways to relay information and oxygen. When your symptoms are gone, that means your brain is still doing a pretty good job of compensating. But when symptoms return, its often because some other stressor an illness, emotional trauma, extra stress at work is too difficult for the brain to handle.
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Mild Concussions Can Still Cause Brain Injury
She also points out that even if a concussion doesnt have any initial symptoms, it doesnt mean the brain hasnt been damaged. Even a mild concussion needs time to heal.
This is particularly an issue in sport. If a concussion isnt obvious at first, continuing to play even the next day or the next week can aggravate the original injury and lead to further damage and the onset of symptoms.
So, as time passes, and new symptoms emerge its quite difficult to tell whether these are due solely to the initial concussion or whether additional injuries have accumulated on top of it.
Dr Nasrallah also points out that a persons prior concussions may influence the severity and behaviour of a new concussion. In particular, previous head injuries might prime the body to react more strongly to the next one.
Its important to note that with any head injury that causes a concussion, there can be a risk of separate injuries such as swelling of brain tissue or bleeding in the brain, which can be life threatening. So its always important to monitor head injuries closely to pick up subtle signs of concussion as well as any signs of more dangerous conditions.
If a head injury results in a loss of consciousness, increasing confusion, vomiting or worsening headache, always seek medical attention.
Care Advice For Head Injuries
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Concussion Recovery: Rest Is Best
Regardless of when your symptoms begin, your recovery should begin immediately. Refrain from vigorous activity, sports or other activities that could jar your head until you consult with your doctor.
“Following a concussion, 24 to 48 hours of rest is recommended. There have been several studies that have shown that if you’re physically active during this initial time period, it can actually prolong your recovery,” explains Kolar.
This period begins the first phase of concussion recovery: rest. During this time, the brain needs as little mental stimulation as possible, which means you should avoid tablets, cell phones, televisions and other electronic devices. Take a break from vigorous physical activities, too, like driving or exercise.
Following this 48-hour time periodand with a doctor’s clearanceit’s usually okay to start to slowly ease yourself back into a routine. While you shouldn’t return to sports or extracurricular activities yet, you may be able to return to walking around, using electronic devices for a few minutes each day or return to school.
“If you start to notice concussion symptoms returning, like the onset of a headache or dizziness, stop what you’re doing and let your doctor know,” says Kolar.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Although it can take some time for a concussion to bring about symptoms, in some cases it will be clear right away that a person may have a concussion or other traumatic brain injury .
For example, if a football player feels dizzy or disoriented after a tackle causes him to hit his head on the ground or he gets into a helmet-to-helmet collision with another player, he may have suffered a concussion even if he feels perfectly fine after a few seconds.
If a blow to the head causes any immediate symptoms, no matter how mild or fleeting they are, stop what you are doing and seek medical attention.
It’s a good idea to follow up with a neurologist whenever there’s the possibility of concussion or TBI.
Concussion Doctor Discussion Guide
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Urgent Advice: Go To A& e If:
You or your child have had a head injury and have:
- been knocked out but have now woken up
- vomited since the injury
- a headache that does not go away with painkillers
- a change in behaviour, like being more irritable or losing interest in things around you
- been crying more than usual
- problems with memory
- been drinking alcohol or taking drugs just before the injury
- a blood clotting disorder or you take medicine to thin your blood
- had brain surgery in the past
You or your child could have concussion. Symptoms usually start within 24 hours, but sometimes may not appear for up to 3 weeks.
You should also go to A& E if you think someone has been injured intentionally.
What Are The Symptoms Of Concussion
Mild head injury can leave people with a range of concussion symptoms including dizziness, nausea, confusion or an inability to process or retain information, sensitivity to light, and vision distortion.
In the early stages after a mild head injury, there is a small risk of developing complications that may require emergency treatment. Find out more about the warning signs below.
While for most people concussion symptoms will resolve themselves in a few days or weeks, some people may find that they persist for much longer. Post-concussion syndrome is the name given to the range of symptoms that continue to occur following a mild head injury or concussion.
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Fast Facts On Traumatic Brain Injury
- The effect of a TBI, such as concussion, depends on the severity of the injury and where it occurs.
- It is a major cause of death and disability in the United States and worldwide.
- Causes include falls, road traffic accidents, and sports injuries.
- Symptoms include confusion, persistent headaches, convulsions, and memory loss.
- Anyone who receives a head injury, however mild, should consider seeking medical attention.
Signs and symptoms may appear at once, within 24 hours, or they may emerge days or weeks after the injury. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle. A person may notice a problem but not relate it to the injury. Some people will appear to have no symptoms after a TBI, but their condition worsens later.
The effects can be physical and psychological.
The initial physical effects include bruising and swelling. Increased pressure in the brain can cause:
- damage to brain tissue, as it presses against the skull or as one part of the brain pushes into another
- pressure on blood vessels, reducing their ability to supply the brain cells with oxygen and essential nutrients
What Treatment Will I Need
If you have had concussion, it is important to see a doctor. Its also a good idea to stay with a responsible adult in case you have further symptoms.
After having a concussion, you need to rest, both physically and mentally. Children should stay home from school and avoid screen time.
You can return to school or work after resting for 24 to 48 hours, as long as it doesnt make your symptoms worse. Its best to increase the load on the brain gradually.
You can return to light physical activity after resting for 24 to 48 hours, as long as this doesnt worsen your symptoms. It will take some time for you to return to full sporting activity.
For information on returning to sport, visit the Concussion in Sport website.
If you or your childs symptoms gets worse in the first few weeks of recovery, or you are concerned, see your doctor.
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What Is Concussion Protocol
Concussion protocol is an organizations set of policies and procedures for caring for someone who has had a head injury. Even though concussions arent limited to sports, concussion protocol is most often associated with sports-related head injury.
The people involved in making sure the concussion protocol is followed include trained healthcare providers with knowledge of concussion care, athletic trainers, school nurse/counselor/teachers, rehabilitation specialists and parents.
A concussion protocol includes such information as:
- Education on concussion definition, signs and symptoms, and management.
- Pre-season baseline brain function test of reaction time, memory, speed of mental processing and other factors per individual player.
- State law criteria for removing a player from activity.
- Sideline assessment of the head injury .
- School adjustments during recovery.
- Gradual return to activity via a gradual process of small increases in activity.