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Home :: Head Injury, Cerebral Concussion

Head Injury, Cerebral Concussion

A violent jar or shock to the brain that causes an immediate change in brain function, including possible loss of consciousness.

BODY PARTS INVOLVE

  • Head.
  • Skull.
  • Brain.

Causes

Blow to the head.

Signs & Symptoms

Mild concussion:

  • Temporary loss of consciousness.
  • Memory loss (amnesia).
  • Emotional instability.

Severe concussion:

  • Prolonged unconsciousness.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Change in breathing.
  • Disturbed vision.
  • Disturbed equilibrium.
  • Memory loss.

Treatment

Follow your doctor's instructions. Instructions are supplemental.

  • The extent of injury can be determined only with careful examination and observation. After a doctor's examination, the injured person may be sent home, but a responsible person must stay with the person and watch for serious symptoms. The first 24 hours after injury are critical, although serious aftereffects can appear later. If you are watching the patient, awaken him or her every hour for 24 hours. Report to the doctor immediately if you can't awaken or arouse the person. Report also any of the following:
  • Vomiting.
  • Inability to move the arms and legs equally well on both sides.
  • Temperature above 100F (37.8C).
  • Stiff neck.
  • Pupils of unequal size or shape.
  • Convulsions.
  • Noticeable restlessness.
  • Severe headache that persists longer than 4 hours after injury.
  • Confusion.

MEDICATION

Don't use any medicine-including non-prescription acetaminophen or aspirin-until the extent of injury is certain.

Home Diet

Follow a full liquid diet until the danger passes.

Prevention Tips

Wear a protective helmet for any activity at risk for a head injury.

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