Steps to Take Following a ConcussionMany injuries suffered after an accident are visible to the naked eye—lacerations, puncture wounds, and bruises. But invisible injuries, such as concussions, are no less dangerous. If you suffered a blow to the head, seek medical treatment immediately and contact a personal injury attorney to see if you qualify for compensation.
What Is a Concussion?Our skulls provide excellent protection to our brains. And spinal fluid surrounding the brain acts as a cushion, protecting your brain from slamming into the inside of your skull. But if you suffer any kind of blow to the head, that blow may shake your brain. If severe enough, this shaking can cause your brain to hit the hard inner shell of your skull, causing a concussion. In extreme cases, you might black out—but you don't have to pass out to suffer a concussion.
What Are Common Concussion Symptoms?Not every blow to the head will cause a concussion, so it's not always easy to tell when you sustain one. However, common symptoms should cause you to investigate further:
- Headaches that worsen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
What Should You Do Immediately After a suffering a Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury?If a loved one suffers a blow to the head, immediately stabilize that person. After a bad accident (like a car wreck), you're probably better off calling emergency services, which can come out and make sure you don't do more damage during transportation to the hospital. Otherwise, you should take your loved one to the hospital as soon as possible. At the hospital, a doctor will review your medical history and the details of the event (if you remember them). Tell your doctor if you suffered a blow to the head before or if you are on medication that thins your blood since both of these facts put you at a higher risk of complications. As part of the diagnosis, the doctor will ask you questions about the injury, which test your ability to remember information and focus. A doctor may also schedule neuropsychological tests or a CT scan to look at an image of your brain. During diagnosis, answer your doctor's questions honestly so that your doctor can make a realistic assessment of the situation.
The Importance of Rest After Suffering a ConcussionSome concussions clear up within seven to 10 days, but other people need more time to fully recover. It's important not rush your recovery. If you are involved in strenuous activities, slow down as soon as you begin to feel dizzy or unwell. Rest is the best way to improve your condition, so take it easy until you feel well. Your doctor may also prescribe the following:
- Get enough sleep at night so that you feel fully rested
- Avoid emotionally draining activities or those that require intense concentration
- Stop taking alcohol or illegal drugs
- Don't play video games
- Stay home from work, if possible
- Place a cold or ice pack on any swelling
- Take pain medication
Watch for Worsening Concussion SymptomsNot every concussion is mild. In a bad accident, for example, you might suffer a more severe traumatic brain injury. The symptoms resemble those of a mild concussion, but they don't get better with time, even with rest. Instead, people with more serious traumatic brain injuries suffer long-lasting problems with movement, speaking, and learning. Serious brain trauma will require more intensive therapy and rehabilitation. For example, you may need to meet with a speech therapist to learn how to talk again. A counselor can help you cope with your emotions. You may also need medication to relieve chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, and headaches. Victims of severe brain trauma also frequently need occupational therapy to allow them to return to some sort of work and take care of themselves.
Concussion TBI ComplicationsIf someone that suffers a concussion fails to take their injury seriously, then they could be at an increased risk of suffering a complication with their concussion. Traumatic brain injuries like concussions are extremely serious no matter how mild or intense the trauma. Our brain is extremely complex and delicate which makes it highly susceptible to harm. A concussion can only be the beginning of a more serious threat to your brain's health either from failing to take medical action or the sustaining of another injury that affects the brain. Post-Concussion Syndrome Most of the symptoms of a concussion will end up going away on their own in time as long as someone takes steps to rest and manage their injury. If not, they can have their symptoms persist long after they are supposed to have made a full recovery. This is known as post-concussion syndrome. Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, lack of focus, and others cognitive hiccups can persist and in certain cases even grow more intense when a concussion is not taken care of. Post-Traumatic Vertigo After a Concussion Sometimes after a concussion is sustained, a victim may experience vertigo when they place their head in a certain position, or when have a headache, or even when they blow their nose. This post-concussion dizziness is usually attributed to the ear. After a head injury, scarring of the drainage pathways in the ear may cause fluid to build up and lead to instances of dizziness. Second Impact Syndrome a Post Concussion Risk Second impact syndrome can be incredibly dangerous and is among the more severe forms of concussion complications. Second impact syndrome is when a second concussion is sustained by a person who has already had a concussion that has yet to fully heal. It's fairly obvious that two concussions or head injuries of any kind that occur consecutively in short temporal proximity are bad for your health. Second impact syndrome can cause the brain to swell up rapidly which can very easily lead to death. It also can cause a variety of other damages to the brain since it is in a compromised state after the first concussion. Degenerative Brain Disease Risk After Concussions After someone sustains a concussion, they can be at increased risk to suffer from any number of degenerative brain diseases. One such disease is chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. It is found within people in occupations where they are at risk to suffer repeated head trauma such as athletes. This disease results in the gradual damage and destruction of brain cells as a protein called tau builds up in the brain.
Consider Legal Action After Suffering a ConcussionSomeone else's negligence may have caused your concussion by creating a dangerous condition or intentionally causing the concussion. Depending on the circumstances, you might sue the party at fault and get monetary compensation for your injuries. For example, people sometimes suffer injuries in the following ways:
- Someone intentionally strikes you—for example, in a bar fight
- Someone accidentally rear-ends your car
- You slip and fall on a wet floor
- You trip over some other hazard, such as a crack in the floor or sidewalk, a loose step, etc.
- You suffer an injury at work when equipment or cargo slams into your head