A concussion is an injury that can occur when there is a jolt or blow to the head. They can also occur when there is a blow to the body that causes the head to suddenly jerk back and forth. In many cases, doctors will describe concussions as ‘mild’ injuries because they are usually not life-threatening, and most people recover within a month. Nevertheless, head and brain trauma, such as concussions, should always be taken seriously.
If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion, there are several steps to recovery that you should be aware of.
Immediately following the injury
With any spinal or head injury, the injured person should not be moved unless it is to avoid further injuries, for example, if they must be moved from a burning vehicle.
In the case of athletes, it has been proven that when athletes stop playing immediately after a concussion causing injury, they recover faster than if they resume play to be evaluated later.1
After a suspected concussion, the person should not be left alone – someone should remain with them until a doctor assesses them. The doctor will ask them questions about the incident and the symptoms they are experiencing, and neurological and cognitive tests will be performed.
Sometimes, a doctor may order a CT or MRI scan to check the seriousness of the head trauma and for other injuries. Generally, as long as the person is in stable condition, they can go home.
24-48 hours after the injury
In the first day or two following the injury, the person should limit their physical and cognitive activity. It is still important that someone be with them during this time since symptoms could still worsen or new ones could emerge. Any worsening of symptoms should be reported immediately to a doctor.
If the person is experiencing pain, it is generally safe to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but this should only be done with medical guidance.
A week following the injury
After about a week, doctors will usually encourage concussion patients to gradually get back into their routine while still being careful to avoid activities that worsen their symptoms. However, they should only return to sports and other vigorous activities when their symptoms are gone.
Before returning to normal physical and cognitive activities, the person should consult their doctor.
Long-term concussion prevention
After returning to normal activities, the person should practice preventative strategies to reduce the risk of another concussion. This could include wearing appropriate safety equipment or only participating in activities with limited risk of head and body blows.
Contact Hoffman Law today
Although most people recover from concussions within a month, some more severe concussions can take longer and interfere with a person’s life. Even minor concussions may cause a person to miss work or otherwise affect them financially. If you or a loved one has suffered a concussion due to someone else’s actions or negligence, it is always a good idea to consult with the personal injury lawyer. To speak to a lawyer, contact us today for a free consultation. We don’t get paid unless you do.