The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), defines a concussion as, “a type of traumatic brain injury-or TBI-caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” Some symptoms such as loss of consciousness may be seen immediately, while other symptoms may be subtle and appear over time.
Concussions can be life-threatening for persons of all ages, but for small children and older adults, even more serious complications can occur. Thus, watching for subtle signs of a concussion and seeking emergency care are extremely important. The CDC strongly suggests that you immediately call 911 if you are with a person exhibiting the following after a head injury:
- One pupil larger than the other
- Drowsy and unable to stay awake
- An unbearable headache that does not go away
- Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or slowed coordination.
- Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures.
- Unusual behaviors, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
- Loss of consciousness, if even for a brief time.