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How to tell if someone has concussion

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ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY

EYE INSTITUTE | CENTURION

Concussions are more common than you may think. It is not always easy to know if someone has a concussion. You don’t have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.

 

What is a concussion: A type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull.

 

In some cases, people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. Other times, it is not that easy to identify.

 

It is important to identify a concussion and seeing a doctor as they can be dangerous and in some cases, fatal.

 

THE FOLLOWING IS A CHECKLIST OF STEPS OF HOW TO TELL IF SOMEONE HAS A CONCUSSION:

  • Check for loss of consciousness
  • Check if breathing is slow and shallow
  • Ask the victim questions, such as:
    • What is your name?
    • Where are you?
    • What happened to you?
  • Check the victim’s eyes. If you have a flashlight, shine the light into their eyes to see if their eyes focus on the light and the pupils react correctly. The pupils of the eyes focused completely on light should constrict. If there is no response or they have irregular eye movements, suspect a head injury, stroke, or serious ailment.
  • Vomiting shortly after a head injury is a sure sign of a concussion. Some patients do not vomit.
  • Keep the patient awake for a period of time after the injury to see if they are worsening. Sleepiness or difficulty wakening can suggest a concussion or more severe head injury
  • Adults tend to go downhill once they have experienced a concussion. Children on the other hand may not. Keep a close watch on younger children for warning signs.
  • Do not move them unless absolutely necessary