Contacting EMS during an emergency

Sports injuries: What to do for a concussion?

Any individual can end up with a concussion which is a common head injury. Collisions, a fall or a direct blow to the head can result to a minor headache or significant head trauma. Since it is hard to determine the severity of any head injury without medical assessment, it is vital to obtain medical care for any form of head injury.

Monitoring an individual with a concussion

Sustaining any strike to the head while playing sports even those that seem trivial can lead to a severe head injury especially if the individual continues to play the sport.

Generally, it is not uncommon for the warning indications or symptoms of a head injury to be delayed for several hours or even days after the initial trauma. In some circumstances, delayed treatment can lead to serious and even dangerous consequences. If a head injury is suspected even if there are no evident symptoms, it is best to be safe and follow the appropriate measures such as the following:

Concussion
If the individual loses consciousness, appears confused, has bleeding, nauseous, drowsy or has other unusual behavior or symptoms, call for emergency assistance right away.

Stop playing

The initial step for a head injury is to stop playing the sport and rest. The individual should move out of the field and assess the situation and provide appropriate care.

Seek medical care

If the individual loses consciousness, appears confused, has bleeding, nauseous, drowsy or has other unusual behavior or symptoms, call for emergency assistance right away. Careful medical assessment is required along with stabilization and transport.

First aid care

Once any of the indications of a serious injury are present, seek immediate assistance and provide any necessary first aid while waiting for the medical team to arrive.

Bring the individual to the emergency department if uncertain

In case you are not sure how serious a concussion is, bring the individual to the nearest emergency department for further assessment. In most cases, a CT scan of the head might be utilized to diagnose for bleeding within the brain.

Monitor for behavioral changes

Any abrupt change in the level of symptoms such as a mild headache that suddenly intensifies or sudden dizziness or drowsiness requires immediate medical care. Stay with the individual at all times during the next 24 hours to monitor for these signs.

Symptoms of a delayed head injury

Even if an individual has no evident indications of a head injury after sustaining a concussion, you have to watch out for any that manifest within hours or even a few days such as the following:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination

If any of these symptoms are present, it is vital to seek medical care right away. Pay close attention to injuries among the elderly, children or those who use blood thinners. Remember that blood thinners can increase the bleeding during injuries. A mild injury might progress to major bleeding if an individual is using blood thinners.

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