Concussion: A brain-bang


Concussion: A topic that is receiving a great deal of attention recently, but what is it? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that rattles the brain inside the skull. When the body is jolted, causing a whiplash reaction of the neck and head, this can cause the brain to become disoriented within the skull.  A concussion can be caused by a number of things such as: sports-related injuries, fights, falls, mobile accidents, and playground injuries.

Motor vehicle precautions can be exercised by children and adults by wearing a seatbelt at all times and keeping your child in a car or booster seat based on age, height and weight requirements. Safety measures to be practiced at home include the installation of window guards to ensure your child does not fall out of an open window and safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

Children and adults should practice helmet safety when riding bicycles, motorcycles, hover-boards, scooters, or all-terrain vehicles. If you are playing a contact sport it is encouraged that you wear a helmet as well. For those contact sports that do not require protective head gear, like soccer, it is important to be vigilant and know the symptoms.

Here are some clues to identify if you have a concussion:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to bright lights or loud sounds
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep patterns, either insomnia or sleeping more often than usual

A lot of people may experience headaches and dizziness for a day then recover fully, but about five percent of people sustain injuries causing life threatening bleeding if not properly diagnosed. The Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is open 24/7 to diagnose and treat concussions. So, how do you know if you should seek medical attention or wait and see? The best answer to this is, when in doubt, check it out!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.