Concussion: Types, Causes, Symptoms and First Aid

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First Aid Classes for Concussion
First Aid Classes for Concussion

A concussion is the most common and least serious type of brain injury. It pertains to a momentary loss of brain function, but people have used the term to describe any minor injury to the head or brain. They are commonly associated with types of sports injury after suffering a hit to the head. Concussions may occur to all ages, even young children. Most cases of concussions are mild.

The brain is composed of soft tissue. It is encased in the skull and cushioned by cerebrospinal fluid to minimize injuries to brain in cases of direct blow or trauma to the brain. In cases of trauma to the brain, it can sometimes cause jolts and bumps in the brain, and in other times, it may cause the brain to literally move inside the head. Traumatic brain injury may lead to bruising, blood vessel injuries and damage to the nerves. This would the result to disruption in brain function, which is usually temporary.

Disclaimer: The articles should not be used for medical diagnosis or advice.To learn more about concussions and other minor injuries, enroll in First Aid Training.

Concussion Types

Concussions are graded according to numerous factors, which include loss of equilibrium, amnesia and loss of consciousness. There are three grades

  • Grade 1 (mild)
    • Symptoms last for less than 15 minutes
    • No loss of consciousness
  • Grade 2 (moderate)
    • Symptoms last longer than 15 minutes
    • No loss of consciousness
  • Grade 3 (severe)
    • Loss of consciousness, even for a few seconds

Concussion Causes

A violent blow to the brain can lead to a concussion. The most common causes of concussion include:

  • Sports injuries, especially high risk sports
  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Falls
  • Soldier in the battlefield

Concussion Symptoms

It may be hard to diagnose a concussion as there may or may not be a physical manifestation such as bruises or cuts. Signs and symptoms may also not show immediately. Sometimes it may appear as late as days or weeks late. Any of the following symptoms can be a sign of concussion:

  • Dazed and confusion
  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing sound in the ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsiness
  • Loss of bodily coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Photosensitivity
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Behavioral changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss

Concussion First Aid Management

Concussion is not usually a medical emergency. However, if one

suffered from a grade 3 concussion, seek medical attention to be sure that no supplemental injuries occurred. The following steps may be taken in case one suffers a concussion or any form of head injury.

  • If one suffered from a grade 1 or grade 2 concussion, make sure that no more symptoms are present before pursuing day-to-day activities.
  • Take plenty of rest. Allow the brain to recover. Avoid activities that would need mental concentration.
  • If one experiences a headache, take acetaminophen. Avoid ibuprofen and aspirin to avoid further damage in case of bleeding.
  • Do not attempt to play in rigorous activity to avoid risks of another concussion.

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