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A concussion is a trauma to the head, which may or may not include injury to the brain. The incidence of concussion is 300 per 100 000 per year (0.3%), with a mortality of 25/100 000 in North America and 9/100 000 in Britain.

Common causes of concussion are motor vehicle accidents (traffic accidents), occupational accidents, home accidents, falls and attacks. A concussion may cause a skull fracture, brain hemorrhage or a hematoma between the skull and the brain (subdural, subarachnoid or extradural hematoma).

concussion symptoms

Common concussion symptoms are:

  • loss of consciousness
  • drowsiness
  • double vision
  • seizures
  • headache

More advanced concussion symptoms may include:

A fluid drainage from nose, mouth or ear (is strongly indicative of the tearing of sheaths surrounding the brain, and can lead to secondary brain infection.)

Especially in case of an extradural haematoma, symptoms of concussion may worsen after a temporary incline in general health. Typically it results from a blow to the side of the head. Patients are momentarily dazed or knocked out, followed by a period of relative lucidity which can last minutes or hours. Thereafter there is rapid decline as the blood collects, causing pressure on the brain.

after an accident: help minimize concussion symptoms

Even if the patient is conscious, any head trauma should be regarded as a medical emergency. In case of a head trauma and loss of consciousness, first the person’s airway, breathing and circulation should be controlled (ABC of medical emergency) and then the head and neck should be stabilized and kept in line with the spinal cord. Attempts should be made to stop any bleeding by firmly pressing a clean cloth (if the bleeding wound is on a suspected skull fracture no pressure should be applied). The injured person should be evaluated with the Glasgow Coma Scale immediately after the injury, and at regular intervals if desired. This would aid in diagnosing the patient as having mild, moderate, or severe concussion.

Even people with slight head injuries, with no apparent signs or complaints, should be observed cautiously. During the first 24 hours after the incident, an observer can wake the victim every 2-3 hours and ask specific questions (e.g. his/her address or occupation, or today's date).

In case of vomiting, drowsiness, personality change or severe headache, the victim should be transferred to a medical emergency unit. Mild headache and slight dizziness after a concussion is expected and does not necessarily require medical aid, if these symptoms do not persist.

Continuous head injuries (caused e.g. by boxing or other contact sports) can lead to a kind of dementia called Punch-drunk syndrome or to a Parkinson's Disease-like syndrome (dementia pugilistica) in the long run. A severe injury may lead to a coma, and eventually, death.

A closed (non-missile) concussion occurs when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, but the object does not break through the skull.

A penetrating (missile) concussion occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue.

Posted by Staff at June 4, 2005 9:51 AM

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Comments Archive

hi, ibanged my head in the pub cellar , last wednesday, on a metal beam, also on the day,
i put floor stripper down and the fumes went in my eyes, i have felt dizzy and my eye sight that as been good for years , as gone blurred in my right eye, and when i turn i go dizzy, is this the bang or fumes, regards tony

Posted by: tony dunn at July 10, 2006 12:49 AM

My daughter fell and hit her head at soccor a month ago. She just told me that her head has hurt ever since and now she has had a headach for a week. She doesn't like dr.s so thats why she hasn't told me until now. Should I take her in?

Posted by: dave at September 6, 2006 2:35 AM

i hit my head on a stair
and i have had a headache
for days and the day after
i hit my head i puked a few times
i did not have a fever coould this
be serious, thanks

Posted by: Bill at November 21, 2006 12:08 AM


My story;;

I hit my head playing soccer last year, a blow to the left temple with an elbow. I blacked out, close to five minutes, then got rushed to the ER.

I have been undergoing tons of tests ever since, and they still can't find out whats wrong with me.

Five different neurologists, four different doctors, six different tests...
It still hasn't ended.

I'm still blacking out when I do any strenuous exercise and I have to rely on medication that is supposed to ease my blackouts; but just minimizes the time until I collaspe.

I'm afraid I have a life-long brain defect happening.


Posted by: Stephanie at December 7, 2006 4:36 PM

I was in a car wreck a week ago. I hit my head on the window. The dr said i have a concussion. At first the headaches were mild, now they are so bad i fall to my knees in pain. Should i go back to the dr or is this normal?

Posted by: Dany at December 9, 2006 9:59 PM

I hit my wife while golfing, she took the ball to her right ear area. She went down but stayed awake, she did not fall she went down slow. Her ear was bleeding, I took her home and she did not want to go to the Dr. Her symptons are: dizziness, tired, pain in jaw and shoulder, slight nausea, should we have it x-rayed?


Posted by: Tom Franklin at January 1, 2007 4:19 PM

Hello, I recently had too much to drink. I wasn't fully aware of my surroundings due to my intoxication. I ended up hitting my head a numerous amount of times that night. A couple on tile, once on a glass door, and a few times on the brick pool deck. Not everytime was in the same place. I always ended up vomiting that night. This could be due to the intoxication but i saw that it was also a symptom of concussions. I believe i went unconscious for 2-3 seconds due to leaving a friend a voicemail and in the voicemail i hit my head a few times in it and verbally say i am about to go unconcsious. Eventually i passed out that night.The next morning i had no recollection of the previous nights' events, i had a slight headache, but it was not a hangover.I've experienced those before and it was not the same. I also felt dizzy thru out the day. It's been a few days since that night and i still have the slight headaches and dizzyness. I also woke up with a bump on the back of my head that is VERY tender and hurts very much if touched.In one occurence of dizzyness while i was sitting up in bed watching tv, my head felt like it was being rammed all the way to the right and the room shook. Vision was impaired. Then it felt like someone was trying to slam my head all the way down to the floor and i couldnt resist and pull up. This lasted for about 2 minutes and has worried me since. I have also been getting rest but no matter how many hours that is, i still feel very tired. Concussion or no?? Any help would be greatly appreciated since my busy schedule does not allow me time to visit the doctors. Thanks for the help - B

Posted by: Britni at January 10, 2007 5:44 PM