Concussions A concussion is a clinical syndrome of traumatic brain injury (TBI) also referred to as mild brain injury (MBI), is characterized by immediate but transient posttraumatic impairment of the brain function. Mental confusion, alteration of mental status, and amnesia are hallmarks of concussion symptoms that may or may not also include the loss of consciousness. It temporarily interferes with the way your brain works, and it can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance, coordination, and sleep patterns.
A concussion may result when the head hits an object or a moving object strikes the head. A concussion can result from a fall, sports activities, and car accidents. Significant movement of the brain can cause you to lose alertness. How long you remain unconscious may be a sign of the severity of the concussion. However, you don’t always involve a loss of consciousness. Most people who have a concussion never black out. You can have a concussion and not realize it. There are three grades to scale a concussions severity.
Grade 1 is considered a mild concussion that has no loss of consciousness; posttraumatic amnesia lasting less than thirty minutes. Post concussion signs and symptoms other than amnesia lasting less than twenty-four hours. Grade 2 is a moderate concussion, loss of consciousness lasting less than one minute. Posttraumatic amnesia lasting longer than thirty minutes but less than twenty-four hours: postconcussion signs and symptoms lasting longer than twenty-four hours but less than seven days.
Grade 3 is a severe concussion, which consist of loss of consciousness lasting more than one minute or posttraumatic amnesia lasting longer than twenty-four hours. The postconcussion signs and symptoms will last longer than seven days. There are several things a doctor can do to test an athlete or a patient for a concussion. The doctor will perform a physical exam and check your nervous system. There may be changes in your pupil size, thinking ability, coordination, and reflexes.
Tests that may be performed include: EEG which is a brain wave test it may be needed if seizures continue, head CT scan, and MRI of the head. Many signs that a doctor can look for are altered levels of consciousness such as drowsy, hard to arouse, or similar changes, confusion or feeling spacey, headache, loss of consciousness, memory loss such as events before the injury or immediately after, nausea or vomiting, seeing flashing lights, and feeling like you have “lost time”.
If the concussion occurred during a sporting event and resulted in a headache, confusion, or change in alertness, a trained person must determine when that person can return to playing sports. Healing or recovering from a concussion takes time. It may take days, weeks, or even months. You may be irritable, have trouble concentrating, unable to remember things, headaches, dizziness, and blurry vision. These problems will probably go away slowly. You may want to get help from family or friends before making important decisions.
There is a testing that is call ImPACT testing that you test each athlete before physical activity. ImPact stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. Then in the case of a concussion they can take the athletes after and retest them on their memory skills. ImPACT provides computerized neurocognitive assessment tools and services that are used by medical doctors, psychologists, athletic trainers and other licensed healthcare professionals to assist them in determining an athlete’s ability to return to play after suffering a concussion.