Concussion: Overview

Concussion is a brain injury causing a temporary loss of consciousness. The usual cause is a brain or head injury, such as a blunt force injury, blow to the head, or a fall. Loss of consciousness is usually temporary, otherwise there is an immediate medical emergency. Typical symptoms after consciousness is restored include headache, dizziness, concentration difficulty, and memory loss. Symptoms of concussion are typically mild and may last for a few days. The main concern is detection of a more serious life-threatening brain hemorrhage (stroke), such as a subdural hematoma, which can cause more severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, confusion, vision changes, and other symptoms. It is advisable to see a doctor after any concussion or head/brain injury, even if the concussion symptoms appear mild. Any worsening of concussion symptoms, or changes to the symptoms, is a strong indicator of a more serious brain injury. If a person appears drowsy, irritable, confused, has personality changes, or is non-responsive, or otherwise appears to have any symptoms of brain hemorrhage or stroke, it needs to be considered a medical emergency.

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