When should I suspect concussion?
Suspect concussion after an impact to the head OR body, which is accompanied by signs and symptoms of a concussion.
What should I do if I think I or someone else sustained a concussion?
Seek medical attention with a physician as soon as possible, and do not return to sport or activity until cleared by a medical professional. In the meantime, rest. Avoid or shorten any activities that make symptoms worse.
The person did not get knocked out, could he/she still have a concussion?
Yes! Suspect concussion after an impact to the head OR body, which is accompanied by signs and symptoms of a concussion, even if there is no loss of consciousness.
I didn't know to rest right after my concussion, and my symptoms got worse. Did I hurt brain even more?
No, but it is harder to recovery quickly if you don't rest enough right after a concussion. You should definitely avoid any activities in which you may sustain another concussion, which could cause further injury.
What does rest mean? Do I need to stay in a dark room all day and sleep?
No, you do not need to completely stop all activity, but it's okay to sleep a lot the first day or two after a concussion. While it is important to rest appropriately, small amounts of activity sprinkled through out the day are fine, as long as symptoms do not worsen. Rest can be a nap, an easy walk, listening to an audio book, sitting outside or meditating, as long as that rest allows your brain to relax. Rest will look different for different people. If you try an activity and start to feel symptoms increase, take a break from that activity, or avoid it for a day or two, but try to add activity back in as you are able to tolerate it.
When should I go to the emergency room?
Any time there is a loss of consciousness (i.e., get knocked out), or if you observe any of the following "red flags:"
- Sudden and severe headache that doesn't get better with rest and/or medication
- Repeated vomiting (more than 1x)
- Increased confusion (unsure of date, time, place, etc.)
- Sudden and/or drastic change in speech, thinking, walking or vision
- Acute and drastic change in behavior (such as tearfulness, anger, irritability, etc.)