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What Should I Do if I Think I’ve Had a Concussion

Published in Head Injury on December 7, 2016.

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A concussion is a common injury that can occur in virtually any type of personal injury accident. From car crashes to slip and falls, concussions are a potential outcome. Although there is no one definition of a concussion, physicians classify it as any jolt or blow to the head that disrupts brain function. Depending on the severity of a concussion, victims can suffer serious health consequences, coma, or even death. Learn what to do if you believe you’ve had a concussion to protect yourself from further harm.

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

Many people mistakenly take the “wait-and-see” approach when it comes to concussions, believing they are not in danger if they are conscious and thinking/behaving normally. However, a concussion can show symptoms days or even weeks after the time of the accident. In some cases, the victim may not notice symptoms such as behavioral changes until another person points them out. The best way to be sure you don’t have a concussion is to seek medical attention immediately after any type of accident where you’ve suffered a blow to the head.

A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). As such, it has the potential to significantly harm a victim’s brain function. TBIs kill an average of 138 people in the U.S. every day. A concussion can affect a person’s physical, cognitive, and emotional capabilities. A person with a concussion may notice:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Impaired thinking
  • Loss of memory
  • Lack of sensation such as vision or hearing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • Seizure

These are just a few of the many possible symptoms of a concussion, as TBIs affect everyone differently. Don’t wait to experience symptoms. See a doctor right after any type of accident to be safe. Depending on the nature of your injury, a doctor will order tests, such as a basic neurological exam, CT scan, and/or MRI scan. These tests will show images of the brain, detect swelling or bleeding, and determine any damage to physical or mental abilities.

Rest and Recover

After any serious personal injury, it’s necessary to properly rest and recover. For a concussion, rest is particularly important, as doctors today currently have no other treatment solutions for this type of TBI. The best way to recover from a concussion is to rest. This means physical and mental rest. Don’t read, watch television, or look at your phone while resting from a concussion. These activities can lead to worsened headaches, dizziness, nausea, or other symptoms. Instead, let your brain rest completely. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan exactly. If symptoms persist, revisit your healthcare provider or see a TBI specialist.

If you sustained a head injury during a sport, it’s especially important to give your body and brain significant time to heal. Don’t succumb to pressures from your coach or team to return to the field until your doctor gives you the go-ahead. Some studies suggest that suffering a second concussion before the first has fully healed could lead to second impact syndrome – a type of injury that could mean permanent brain damage.

Seek Legal Help for a Brain Injury

If someone else’s negligence caused your concussion or mild TBI, you may need to enlist the help of a personal injury attorney to receive compensation for your injuries in Georgia. If someone such as an impaired driver, careless property owner, or negligent employer caused or contributed to your concussion, consider hiring an attorney instead of settling your claim with an insurance company. A personal injury claim may enable you to earn compensation for your medical bills, doctor visits, treatment supplies, lost time at work, and pain and suffering.

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