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How to tell if someone has concussion

Concussion gets a lot of discussion in winter with contact sports like footy, rugby, etc

Medical experts on the sports field always seem to know exactly what to do when they think someone might be concussed. But what would you do, if someone you knew got hit in the head while playing casual sport or as the result of an accident?

Would you be able to tell if the person might be suffering from concussion?

The first thing to do, if you suspect someone is concussed, is to stop all activity around the person, remain quiet and calm. Keep the person themselves still and resting, either laying down or sitting.

The most immediate SIGNS you will see that make you suspect concussion include the following:

· Did the person lose consciousness?

· Do they seem disoriented or uncoordinated?

· Is their speech incoherent (not making sense)?

· Are they confused or not aware of events around them or what just happened?

· Do they seem to have any memory loss?

· Are they dazed or stunned or do they have a “vacant” stare or look in their eyes?

Some of the SYMPTOMS the person may report to you can include:

· A feeling of dizziness, headache or “pressure” in the head.

· A feeling that they “can’t concentrate”.

· Nausea, “feeling sick” or wanting to vomit.

· Enhanced sensitivity to light and/or noise.

· Ringing in their ears.

· A feeling of tiredness, “fatigue” or just “wanting to go to sleep”.

If the person is exhibiting even just one or two of these signs or symptoms, you can suspect concussion.

If you also suspect any spinal injury or damage, you must immobilise the person. Get them to lay down and cradle their head in your hands, ensuring they don’t move.

Call 000 and report the concussion, unconsciousness (if experienced) and suspected spinal injury.


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