Advice To Identify And First Aid A Concussion


Table of Contents

What Is A Concussion?

A concussion is the word used to describe a traumatic brain injury affecting the way the brain functions and processes cognitive ability.

The effects of a traumatic brain injury are usually temporary, often including side effects like headaches, nausea, and problems with concentration, memory, balance, and coordination. Concussions are typically caused by a blow to the head that creates an injury to the brain that results in swelling.

Playing sports, particularly contact sports with a high degree of inflicting repeated impact  traumatic brain injury, like boxing, MMA, or rugby, will increase the chances of repeated concussions and damage to the brain that has long-term effects and could become life-threatening if left untreated.

Traumatic brain injury can range from mild traumatic brain injury to severe traumatic brain injury, causing a loss of consciousness, the desire to throw up and be left feeling squeezy, experiencing blurred or double vision, having one or both pupils fixed and dilated, a skull fracture, swelling of the brain.

Concussions are usually caused by a blow to the head or, in some cases, result from whiplash, most frequently received when the head snaps forward and backwards after being hit from behind unexpectedly by a vehicle. Roller coaster rides can also give whiplash with sudden jerking movements that cause the head to snap forward and backwards suddenly.

How Do You Get A Concussion?

The brain floats in cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull to protect it from injury. A concussion occurs when either a direct impact or whiplash effect causes the brain to move violently inside the skull. This impact trauma often causes the brain to swell, putting pressure on the brain. Due to being contained inside the fixed space of the bony skull with no room to expand, the brain is compressed when it swells, causing the visible signs of a concussion to appear. To answer the question of how dangerous concussions can be, prominent studies were undertaken,

A concussion is a brain injury where the head has been hit hard enough to make you see stars or pass out. These symptoms usually disappear within days, and returning to contact sports should be done gradually for those who are in doubt about whether or not they’re ready for play.

Some people will develop post-concussion syndrome (PCS) after multiple brain injuries, which happens when an injured person experiences ongoing concussion symptoms and repeated brain trauma that can sometimes last weeks before getting better.

How Does Concussion Affect The Brain?

A concussion results from neural damage, which may manifest in the brain as bruising. You don’t have to lose consciousness to experience a concussion. You can still experience an impact concussion without passing out. The force necessary to give a concussion varies depending on the person, and the object density used to cause the trauma.

Different parts of the brain can move at different speeds, producing shearing forces that can stretch and tear nerve tissue. They also alter the balance of ions and chemicals in the brain, which impairs functions among nerve cells or even causes them to cease functioning altogether. Some fibers can recover from such an injury, while others permanently lose their ability to function and stop sending signals or communicating with other cells in your brain.

The effects of a concussion are made worse by secondary injuries. These injuries include the production of harmful chemicals called free radicals, inflammation, impaired transport molecules within nerve cells, and imbalances in essential ions needed for nerve function.

Recovering from these types of injuries is an energy-intensive process in the brain, but damage makes it hard for neurons to generate enough energy on their own. Blood flow to the site where the injury occurred is reduced, hindering the delivery of oxygen and nutrients necessary for rapid repair and recovery. In short, healing from a traumatic brain injury takes time and cannot be rushed or forced to heal faster.

Who Is Most At Risk From A Concussion?

The type of injury one has will affect the risks. For example, boxers are more likely to sustain a head injury that leads to brain damage than cricket players in contact sports, who are less prone to being injured by head collisions. They wear protective equipment on their heads and shoulders that form a cushion and prevent a direct impact with the skull. However, helmets do not prevent brain trauma from whiplash-style concussion.

The public knows the connection between contact sports and concussions, but what about other environments? A traumatic brain injury is common in the general population. You can suffer from a mild or severe concussion just by falling or getting into an accident for many reasons you might not expect.

A blow to your head can result in either loss of consciousness or no change of state (you are still lucid). Players who are knocked out usually have a known concussion during their sports activity, but they can also remain conscious. Staying conscious means the injury goes undiagnosed as a concussion and can endanger the athlete if they continue playing the sport.

Protective gear has been developed in the form of hard hats on construction sites and helmets for all other sports that are specific in design and purpose to the sport. Helmets help prevent skull damage during high-impact hits; however, these protective measures don’t do anything against impacts that disrupt brain movement inside the skull, leading to more serious injuries like blood clots that can cause a stroke or embolism.

What Is The First Aid Treatment For Concussion?

The first two days after a concussion, relative rest is recommended, including limiting activities requiring mental concentration. Complete rest, such as lying in a dark room and avoiding all stimuli, is not helpful to recovery and is not recommended.

In the first two days (48 hours) following the injury, you should limit high mental activity – such as playing video games or watching TV – if these activities worsen your symptoms.

It would help if you avoided physical activities that worsen symptoms, such as vigorous movements or sports until these activities no longer provoke your symptoms. You may want to gradually increase the number of daily activities you do, such as screen time if it is tolerable without triggering symptoms.

You can start physical and mental exercises at levels that don’t cause a significant worsening of symptoms. Light exercise and physical activity as tolerated beginning a few days after an injury have been shown to speed recovery; however, make sure you avoid any high-risk activities like head impact contact sports or horseback riding, which could lead to another traumatic brain injury.

Pain relief and medication is an option under the doctor’s advice; do not take medication that might mask or hide the signs and symptoms of concussion from your doctor. Understanding how to take care of yourself after a concussion consist of multiple strategies,

First Aid Training

If you have read this far, it is time to think about taking a First Aid course. Whether it is your first time, or you are updating your old skills, having current knowledge on how to give First Aid in any situation is valuable. FACE is a nationally accredited training provider with excellent trainers in every state. We even provide online courses if your lifestyle is hectic, or you are housebound. Check out our wide range of Australia-wide courses and treat yourself. Who knows when you might be called on to treat someone else!

Swing by our FACE Blog Page and read up on a range of topics for inspiration and general knowledge.

To learn more about what really happens during, and a concussion check out the links below:

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