Heads Up! To the Risks of Concussion

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and concussion, which is a type of TBI, can happen to anyone. Concussion, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth, can lead to significant life-long impairment affecting an individual’s memory, behavior, learning, and/or emotions. Understanding when a concussion is most likely to occur, the signs and symptoms, and seeking immediate medical evaluation are essential to identify the extent of the injury, or save life in the event of one.

Concussion and other TBI are most likely to occur from falls, car crashes, and workplace accidents. More and more though, concussions from sports have been making news headlines. Children and teens are more likely to get a concussion, and take longer to recover than adults.

Concussion can occur in any sport or recreation activity, from youth leagues to the professional level. All coaches, parents, and athletes need to learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.

Because you can’t see a concussion, even a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. It’s crucial to be examined by a medical professional. Appropriate diagnosis, management, and education are critical for helping young athletes with a TBI recover quickly and fully.

Michigan Urgent Care providers are board certified and have extensive experience in urgent care medicine. We’ll provide a thorough neurological evaluation to assess the severity and extent of the head injury, and determine the most medically appropriate plan of , including but not limited to observation or further specialist care.

Concussion and other TBI changes the way the brain normally works. Signs and symptoms of concussion may not show up right away, appearing hours, even days, after the injury. It is important to be aware of the common signs of concussion:

Headache and/or pressure in the head

Dizziness

Nausea/vomiting

Balance problems

Vision changes, such as blurry and/or double vision

Sensitivity to light and/or noise

Poor concentration, memory problems and/or confusion

In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain.
Immediate medical attention is needed if after a bump, blow or jolt to the head one or more the following signs develop.

One pupil larger than the other

Extreme drowsiness and can’t be awakened

A headache that gets worse

Weakness, numbness, and/or decreased coordination

Slurred speech

Convulsions or seizures

Cannot recognize people or places

Loss of consciousness (even briefly)

Remember “H-E-A-D” in “Heads Up” for any type of head injury, regardless of the cause.

H: Halt Play

E: get Evaluated by a Medical Professional Right Away

A: be Attentive to Concussion Signs/Symptoms

D: Don’t Resume Activity until Medically Cleared

For more information about concussion in sports, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/.

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