|In itself, concussion is not a serious injury as the victim will recover when the disturbance caused by the impact stops. However, because concussion often accompanies violent head movement, there is always the possibility of a skull fracture or more serious, longer-term brain injury, such as compression. It is important therefore that even a seemingly recovered victim with concussion should seek medical treatment.
HOW TO TREAT CONCUSSION
- Place the victim in the recovery position if necessary and monitor ABC.
- Call an ambulance if the victim does not recover after 3 minutes or if there are signs of skull fracture or compressions.
- Advise the victim to seek medical advice if recovery appears to be complete.
- Encourage the victim to keep still while recovering because this reduces dizziness and nausea,
- Be aware of the increased likelihood of neck injuries.
Compression is a very serious injury that occurs when pressure is exerted on the brain, either by a piece of bone, bleeding, or swelling of the injured brain. It may develop immediately after a head injury or stroke, or some hours or even days later.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COMPRESSION
- Person becomes increasingly drowsy and unresponsive.
- Flushed and dry skin.
- Slurred speech and confusion.
- Partial or total loss of movement, often down one side of the body.
- One pupil bigger than the other.
- Noisy breathing which becomes slow.
- Slow, strong pulse.
HOW TO TREAT COMPRESSION
If some or all of these symptoms are present, suspect compression and carry out the following treatment.
- If the victim is unconscious, place in the recovery position and monitor airway, breathing, and circulation.
- If conscious, lay the victim down with the head and shoulders slightly raised, maintaining a close check on the ABC. Call an ambulance, and be prepared to resuscitate.
Do not give anything to eat or drink—the victim may need a general anesthetic in hospital.