Sunday, December 17

First Aid For Concussion

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The condition occurs not necessarily because there is a direct trauma to the skull or the head, but, it can also occur in instances where there is a trauma to the neck region as well.

Certain high impact sports such as American football, boxing, hockey…etc can give rise to sports injuries characterized by a concussive state and road traffic accidents, high impact landings on their feet as well as falls can also give rise to this condition.

The underlying mechanism of developing a concussion would be the jolting or sloshing of the brain within the skull due to an impact such as the once mentioned previously. The bruising that takes place in such instances can give rise to many symptoms which are considered as a ‘concussion’. In complex concussions, it is possible to sustain a brief loss of consciousness as well. But, the characteristic features of a concussion would be the lightheadedness, feeling of dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, memory loss related to the event or things happened just before and after the event, confusion, imbalance, vision disturbances…etc. At the same time, it should be remembered that, such symptoms should definitely be associated following an impact that could reasonably give rise to a concussive state.

When a person suffers from a concussion, the first aid giver should be aware about the possible causes for such a concussion and make serious note of the other more serious issues that can accompany such patients. Therefore, if the patient is unconscious or partially conscious, they should be placed on the recovery position and frequent assessment should be done on their vitals such as the pulse, breathing, pupil size…etc. If there are external injuries, appropriate steps needs to be taken in order to arrest bleeds and to reduce swelling. In case of absent vital signs, CPR procedures may have to be used till such time emergency teams arrive at the scene and takeover.

It would be the job of the first aid giver to keep the patient or the victim at rest as there is a possibility of further complications with continued movements and jerks. A person should take at least a week’s rest following such concussions and this does not necessarily mean to be still.

A person who suffers from a concussion should be taken out from the hustle and bustle of the environment and should be placed in a calm and quiet environment as this will improve the brains recovery during the initial phase as well as during the days after.  

Taking the victim to a medical unit which can further investigate and follow up would be the last step in the initial management process and following ascertaining the real impact, it would be possible to implement a recovery plan for that individual.

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