Symptoms of and Remedies for a Concussion

Have you ever seen a friend or child get hit in the head really hard and wondered whether you should take him to the hospital or call 911, or whether you needed to simply console him and help him to a comfortable position? What should you look for in a situation like this, and what are the signs and symptoms of a serious injury?

In a concussion or a contusion, there is no bleeding. Often, a person feels dizzy and a bit under the weather, and he often feels like sitting and resting for a while and develops a headache. After less than a day goes by, he is usually back to normal and ready to go. A concussion involves some minor swelling caused by the brain hitting the inside of the skull upon impact of a hard surface or a sudden stop. Time is usually the best healer for a concussion.

A concussion is quite different from a closed head injury or trauma. In a closed head injury, there is often bleeding caused by pressure inside the skull, and the effects are often very serious and can even lead to death. In a closed head injury, there is no external evidence of an injury, whereas in an open head injury, there is either an object penetrating the skull or a fracture / laceration in the skull that allows blood to escape.

To manage a situation in which a person has suffered a blow to the head, you must first determine whether he was knocked unconscious or not. In the event that he is unconscious, either call 911 or bring the person immediately to the emergency room. Emergency care is needed immediately in this case because a head injury that causes a loss of consciousness is traumatic enough that it could have caused other head trauma. A CAT scan or an MRI should be done to ensure there is no bleeding or internal injury that could cause further damage.

If the person is still conscious, put them in a position of comfort and question the person. Ensure that there is not a neck injury in addition to the head injury (in that case, you would stabilize the head / neck area to minimize movement and further damage and call 911). If the person seems to be normal except for a possible slight headache, ask open-ended questions such as how he is feeling and how his head feels to get a gauge of how responsive and coherent he is. Be sure to monitor him through the next few hours to ensure that the headache or other aches and pains do not get worse. Make sure he does not become lethargic or unresponsive, make sure he is answering questions appropriately and not in an overly tired fashion. Some more problem symptoms to watch out for are nausea / vomiting, pain on one side of the body, one pupil becoming larger than the other, confusion, slurred speech, slow movements, not recognizing people, not knowing what day it is, who they are, what their birthdate is, what their phone number is, and other signs that simply indicate a lowered level of response or a level of confusion. If the person does seem to be lagging behind in his responses, you should minimize the his movement, put him in a position of comfort, and call 911 or take him immediately to the emergency room.

If the person becomes unconscious, stabilize the head / neck, minimize harmful movement, and check airway, breathing, and circulation. If necessary, perform CPR.

A concussion is the most likely and the most common injury that occurs from an impact to the head. Usually the swelling and headache go away within 24 hours without any other side effects or medication needed. However, you can always call a doctor to determine if there is anything else you should do if you are extremely concerned.

Leave a comment

How can we help you?

If your job requires you to be certified in CPR, or you just want to learn CPR to be ready in an emergency, then you're in the right place. We've certified hundreds of thousands of professionals in our online and blended CPR courses, and you can join them.

Find out how you can get your accredited CPR certification without spending your day in a classroom.

Read more articles

Previous article: CPR Training for Boat Captains – An Essential at Sea
Next article: Why do people pass out and how can you help?

Read More Articles from ProFirstAid


Recent Articles