(1) Signs/symptoms of concussion. Signs and symptoms of a concussion
occur immediately. Included are the following:
(a) Knowledge that the patient has received a blow to the head, has
had a temporary loss of consciousness, and memory loss are indications of a
(b) The most important indication of concussion is memory loss for the
exact moment of injury. This is a sign of brain dysfunction. The patient may never
remember the exact moment of injury. His brain had not had time to record the moment
in his memory. Sometimes, the patient cannot remember events just preceding the
moment of injury, a condition called retrograde. Or, a patient may not be able to
remember events that happened just after the moment of injury, this condition being
called antigrade. Short time memory loss may cause a patient to ask questions
repeatedly about the moments surrounding his injury.
The patient may become combative.
(d) Not all patients who have a concussion lose consciousness. But
those who do may regain consciousness anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. If
the loss of consciousness was only momentary, often neither the patient nor witnesses
are sure whether or not the patient lost consciousness.
(2) Treatment for concussion. There is no specific treatment for a
concussion. If the patient is not being detained for observation, a responsible adult
should be told to check on the patient hourly. The adult should be told the
signs/symptoms that would indicate that the patient needs further medical help.
Usually, within 24 to 48 hours, the symptoms of concussion begin to subside.
d. Cerebral Contusion. A focal brain injury is an injury in which there is
dysfunction of a particular region, system, or side of the brain. The most common type
of focal brain injury is a cerebral contusion. This type of contusion is a bruise in the
brain that consists of a superficial focus of brain hemorrhage, necrosis, and/or
Types of cerebral contusions. Included are the following:
(a) Coup contusion. This type of contusion occurs in the part of the
brain that is directly under the focus of an impact.