What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

Concussions are dangerous, but individuals often do not recognize (or take seriously) the signs and symptoms of these injuries before damage is done. Information from the CDC indicates that there were more than 214,000 hospitalizations as a result of traumatic brain injuries during a recent reporting year. Many of these emergency room visits are related to concussions, but the numbers are likely far under-reported. Not included are concussions treated at a doctor’s office or those in which individuals do not receive treatment at all.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussions is critical, and any person who has sustained a bump or blow to the body or head should seek immediate medical care. If you have sustained a head injury due to someone else’s negligence, Seattle traumatic brain injury attorneys can ease the hardship by recovering monetary compensation.

Look for the Signs and Symptoms

Information presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presents a range of symptoms individuals should look for after sustaining a bump or blow to the head or body:

1. Physical Symptoms:

  • Headache that worsens
  • A feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Blurry vision

2. Cognitive or Emotional Symptoms:

  • Confusion or feeling as if in a “fog”
  • Amnesia about the incident
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise

3. Sleep Disturbances:

  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Difficulty falling asleep

The Mayo Clinic further explains that while most concussions are not life-threatening, the effects can be serious. This factor should not be overlooked.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Treatment 

Given the potential severity of a concussion (sometimes there’s no way to know the severity without seeking medical care), it is vital to seek rapid medical care, even if the symptoms seem mild. The CDC’s HEADS UP campaign emphasizes that a medical professional can assess the situation and the signs and symptoms to determine the severity of the injury. Medical intervention is crucial because:

  • Early diagnosis. Timely medical evaluation ensures an accurate diagnosis, which is crucial for effective treatment and recovery.
  • Monitoring for complications. Some concussion symptoms may indicate more severe brain injuries, like brain hemorrhage or skull fractures, which require immediate treatment.
  • Guidance on recovery. Healthcare professionals provide personalized advice on rest, gradual return to activities, and monitoring for worsening symptoms.

The CDC’s resources on Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion Symptoms offer comprehensive information for those affected by concussions, including how to manage symptoms and when to seek further medical care.

A Cautionary Tale

Beloved comedian Bob Saget died in 2022 as a result of blunt force trauma to the head due to an unwitnessed accidental fall in his hotel room. Reports indicate that Mr. Saget likely fell and hit his head on the floor of his hotel room but did not think the injury was severe. He likely went to bed thinking everything was okay but died as a result of a brain injury he was unaware of. 

Had Mr. Saget known of the severity of the injury he sustained, and had he sought medical care, his prognosis likely would have been survival. We understand that second-guessing things like this does not change what happened, but it does help us chart a path forward for individuals who experience bumps or blows to the head or body. It is essential to seek medical treatment right away, even if the symptoms are not severe and contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer so you can focus on healing.