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Do you know the signs and symptoms of a concussion?

First aid training may not always capture every possible scenario of a traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as a concussion. Understanding the signs (observed) and symptoms (reported by injured person) is crucial.

Evaluation by a health care professional

Although signs and symptoms may appear soon after the injury, hours or days can go by before you know how serious it is. The injured person should be evaluated by a health care professional if ANY of the signs or symptoms in the lists below are noticed. This particular list has been published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1

7 observable signs of a concussion

· Appearing dazed or stunned

· Forgetting an instruction

· Moving clumsily

· Answering questions slowly

· Losing consciousness (even briefly)

· Showing mood, behavior, or personality changes

· Being unable to recall events prior to and/or after a hit or fall

11 possible symptoms (reported by the injured person)

· Headache or “pressure” in head

· Nausea or vomiting

· Balance problems or dizziness

· Double or blurry vision

· Sensitivity to light or noise

· Sensation of feeling sluggish

· Concentration or memory problems

· Confusion

· Not “feeling right” or “feeling down”

· Mood changes, such as irritability, sadness, nervousness, anxiety, or acting more emotional than normal

· Changes in sleep patterns

Reference: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Guide to Writing about Traumatic Brain Injury in News and Social Media. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2015.

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