Concussion – types and what you should do

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONCUSSIONS

Concussions are graded as mild (grade 1), moderate (grade 2), or severe (grade 3), depending on such factors as loss of consciousness, amnesia, and loss of equilibrium.

In a grade 1 concussion, symptoms last for less than 15 minutes. There is no loss of consciousness.

With a grade 2 concussion, there is no loss of consciousness but symptoms last longer than 15 minutes.

In a grade 3 concussion, the person loses consciousness, sometimes just for a few seconds.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A CONCUSSION?

The seriousness of a concussion dictates what kind of treatment you should seek. Most people with concussions fully recover with appropriate treatment. But because a concussion can be serious, safeguarding yourself is important. Here are a few steps to take:

Seek medical attention. A health care professional can decide how serious the concussion is and whether you require treatment. If you have suffered a grade 1 or grade 2 concussion, wait until symptoms are gone before returning to normal activities. That could take several minutes, hours, days, or even a week.If you have suffered a grade 1 or grade 2 concussion, wait until symptoms are gone before returning to normal activities. That could take several minutes, hours, days, or even a week.

If you have sustained a grade 3 concussion, see a doctor immediately for observation and treatment. A doctor will ask how the head injury happened and discuss the symptoms. The doctor may also ask you simple questions such as “Where do you live?,” “What is your name?” or “Who is the president?” The doctor asks these questions to evaluate memory and concentration skills.

 

The doctor may test coordination and reflexes, which are both functions of the central nervous system.The doctor may also order a CT scan or an MRI to rule out bleeding or other serious brain injury.

If hospitalization is not required, the doctor will provide instructions for recovery. Aspirin-free medications may be prescribed and you will be advised to take it easy. Experts recommend follow-up medical attention within 24 to 72 hours if symptoms worsen.

  • Take a break. If your concussion was sustained during athletic activity, stop play and sit it out. Your brain needs time to properly heal, so rest is key. Definitely do not resume play the same day. Athletes and children should be closely monitored by coaches upon resuming play. If you resume play too soon, you risk a greater chance of having a second concussion, which can compound the damage. The American Academy of Neurology has issued guidelinesabout resuming activities after a concussion.
  • Guard against repeat concussions. Repeat concussions cause cumulative effects on the brain. Successive concussions can have devastating consequences, including brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long-term disabilities, or even death. Don’t return to normal activities if you still have symptoms. Get a doctor’s clearance so you can return to work or play with confidence.

Concussion learning by experts

Amid growing evidence that repeated concussions and blows to the head can have long-term, possibly fatal outcomes, local concussion experts are working to better inform people about head injuries.

Specialists at Cape Regional Medical Center’s Concussion Center are gearing up for fall sports season injuries, typically to student athletes — although adults and seniors can have such injuries all year.

More awareness about head injuries is needed.

“There’s a misconception that concussions are strictly due to sports injuries, but we have a program and treatments that serve kids and adults who get concussions just as much from falls and car accidents, too,” said A.J. Weiss, concussion center rehabilitation and treatment manager.

Gov. Chris Christie earlier this year signed a law designating the third Thursday of September as Concussion Awareness Day in New Jersey. Legislators said they hoped awareness would lead to education about the serious consequences of concussions, treatment and resources.

Of the 2.8 million traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations in 2013, most were concussions, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and about 300,000 children who were treated in a single year for a concussion or brain injury got hurt while playing sports or in recreation.

Scientists have explored more about concussions in recent years, especially as high rates of head injuries are found in sports such as football. Researchers have looked into how repeated head injuries and concussions could lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.

A report published in July in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Dr. Ann McKee, chief neurologist of VA Boston Healthcare System and director of the CTE Center at Boston University, said 110 of 111 brains of deceased National Football League players were found to have CTE.

“Part of what we do for education is informing people about second impact syndrome, which can be fatal,” Weiss said. “It happens when someone sustains a second concussion before the first one heals, and that could lead to weeks or months of therapy, permanent damage, or worst case, death.”

Concussion symptoms include dizziness, headache, vision trouble, sometimes brief unconsciousness, fatigue, poor balance, sensitivity to light, vomiting and disorientation, among others.

Cape Regional’s center, established in January 2016, encourages people to see a physician as soon as possible if they suspect a concussion. When a physician or other medical expert refers patients to the center, Weiss said, they will see that patient in less than 48 hours.

Some patients who come in with head injuries from sports, falls or car accidents come through the emergency department, he said, where they may be prescribed a CT scan, which can detect brain bleeds or skull fractures.

Though they are necessary in many cases, experts from the New Jersey Council of Children’s Hospitals and the New Jersey Hospital Association created the Safe CT Imaging Collaborate, which works to standardize protocols for head CT scans in children to decrease radiation exposure.

“Diagnostic radiation is very, very useful when used appropriately,” said Dr. Ernest Leva, associate professor and director of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. “But if it’s not used appropriately, it can be dangerous.”

Dori Davidson, 19, of Dennis Township, got a concussion not from sports, but from a slip and fall in August.

She visited a Cape Regional urgent care associated with the emergency department for a laceration on her head and was referred to the concussion center, where she got baseline testing, concussion care education and a treatment plan.

Davidson worked with experts in a combination of physical therapy and occupational therapy exercise Friday to strengthen her motor and cognitive capabilities. She worked with the Dynavision D2, a computerized board that tested her motor, physical and neurological skills.

The center, which has seven certified brain injury/concussion specialists trained in physical and occupational therapy, also works with a network of nearby pediatricians to reach children who may see their primary care doctors for head injuries.

Weiss said the center also works with neurologists who attend to patients with more complicated neurological issues stemming from a concussion.

No single test can diagnose someone with a concussion, but experts hope there will be one someday. In the meantime, they said, the best they can do is educate people on how serious concussion can be, the signs and symptoms and the available resources, such as Cape Regional’s specialized center.

“We emphasize everyone to get in early if they suspect a concussion injury,” Weiss said. “The last thing we want to see is people who don’t address their symptoms immediately, they get worse and we have a worse case on our hands.”

Types of facilities for long-term health

Long-term care is provided in different places by different caregivers, depending on a person's needs. Most long-term care is provided at home by unpaid family members and friends. It can also be given in a facility such as a nursing home or in the community, for example, in an adult day care center.
For the most part, and more often than not, people who'd consider "unsupported living" remain at home for as long as they can. A decline of their self-support skills would necessitate the move into a long-term facility. Basically, they need some help with what's done every day.
Independent Living Apartments
Independent living apartments are ideal for seniors who do not need personal or medical care but who would like to live with other seniors who share similar interests. In most independent living facilities seniors can take advantage of planned community events, field trips, shopping excursions and on-premise projects.
Adult Homes
Adult homes are licensed and regulated for temporary or long-term residence by adults unable to live independently. They usually include supervision, personal care, housekeeping, and three meals a day.
Assisted Living Program (ALP)
An excellent alternative to nursing homes for seniors who need help with their daily routines, but who do not need 24-hour care. Room, board, case management, and skilled nursing services come from an outside agency.
Nursing Home (Skilled Nursing Facility)
Nursing homes offer 24-hour-a-day care for those who can no longer live independently. In nursing homes, trained medical professionals provide specialized care to seniors with severe illnesses or injuries. Specially trained staff assist residents with daily activities such as bathing, eating, laundry and housekeeping. They may specialize in short-term or acute nursing care, intermediate care or long-term skilled nursing care.
What it comes down to is that whatever you need, is available. The more that you'd get, the more that it will cost. If you want to be happy, and not worried about the cost, trust me, you'll find something.

Take hits to the head seriously

The president of the US knocked NFL on rules: ‘Concussions — ‘Uh oh, got a little ding on the head?' in 2016, and calling the rules “soft”.
While he's wrong, he's not alone in thinking that way. The reason for that is that if someone hasn't had an injury, or knows someone who has, they don't understand.
While concussions are sometimes invisible to the eye, the effects aren't.
I've got plenty of challenges, of that there's no doubt, but the fact that I'm visibly-disabled is a plus. Why? Because if I stop for a few seconds, and do something that isn't simply moving forward, someone usually stops, and asks me if I'd like some help.
What I don't understand is that some doctors consider traumatic brain injury and concussion as two separate diagnostic categories, when in truth, both reflect brain injury.
When people go to the hospital, after getting hit on the head, what's weird (wrong) is that concussion is sometimes termed, over "brain injury." The reason for that is strongly associated with earlier discharge from the hospital and earlier return to school activities, the researchers say.
But, with the reality that they're the same, and post-crash effects can appear later, researchers recommend that more specific descriptions of concussion and brain injury should be used. The reason for that is that a more detailed explanation can include elements that would warn of the potential occurrences of issues.
Using the term “mild traumatic brain injury” rather than “concussion” might help people better understand what they are dealing with and improve decisions about what the children should be allowed to do.

What is a concussion?

As Will Smith made evident, concussions are more than a "bump on the head", way more.  What's also unusual is that a concussion can be received with impact to another part of the body, not even the head.  What's also unusual is that a concussion can be received with impact to another part of the body, not even the head.
If you're hit on your body somewhere, that makes your head move, sharply, to one side and then back, your brain hits your skull, and it's like hitting your head with a hammer.
If your kid is hit on the head by the ball in the game, and gets a big bump, it's more often than not simply a visible injury, and not a concussion. However, make sure that you pay attention to your kid, periodically ask them random questions that take a moment to think, and make sure they're alert.
Make sure that you take your kid to see a doctor if they show:
• Persistent or worsening headache• Imbalance
• Vomiting• Memory loss or confusion
• Mood changes, such as irritability
Signs and symptoms may not be noticeable right away,
but if your headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea persists,
you should see a doctor.

This is summary information as best we can find

Concussion

The most common type of traumatic brain injury is called a Concussion. The word comes from the Latin concutere, which means “to shake violently.”

According to the CDC, in the US, between 2001 and 2009, an estimated 173,285 people under age 19 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for concussions related to sports and recreation activities.

Other causes include car and bicycle accidents, work-related injuries, falls, and fighting.

WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?

As seen in countless Saturday morning cartoons, a concussion is most often caused by a sudden direct blow or bump to the head.

The brain is made of soft tissue. It’s cushioned by spinal fluid and encased in the protective shell of the skull. When you sustain a concussion, the impact can jolt your brain. Sometimes, it literally causes it to move around in your head. Traumatic brain injuries can cause bruising, damage to the blood vessels, and injury to the nerves.

The result? Your brain doesn’t function normally. If you’ve suffered a concussion, vision may be disturbed, you may lose equilibrium, or you may fall unconscious. In short, the brain is confused. That’s why Bugs Bunny often saw stars.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A CONCUSSION?

Concussions can be tricky to diagnose. Though you may have a visible cut or bruise on your head, you can’t actually see a concussion. Signs may not appear for days or weeks after the injury. Some symptoms last for just seconds; others may linger.

Concussions are fairly common. Some estimates say a mild brain trauma is sustained every 21 seconds in the U.S. But it’s important to recognize the signs of a concussion so you can take the proper steps to treat the injury.

There are some common physical, mental, and emotional symptoms a person may display following a concussion. Any of these could be a sign of traumatic brain injury:

How you can help

HERE ARE SOME “RULES” THAT YOU MIGHT SELF-ENFORCE FOR HELPING ALL PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

  1. Always treat people with disabilities as equals.  All people want to have friends, fun, and experience life to the maximum.  People with disabilities are no exception.  Never be afraid, skeptical, or embarrassed to approach someone with a disability.  People with disabilities have just as much fun!
  2. Always ask before you help.  People with disabilities have varying levels of independence.  Never assume someone with a disability has a low-level.  If someone looks like they’re struggling, ask before you help.  A person may welcome help, or they may ask that you let her be independent; but even if she looks like she’s struggling, she may just want to become more independent, which requires practice in everyday situations.
  3. Never assume someone does or does not have a disability.  Everyone is different.  Sometimes, people with disabilities may act, feel, or think differently than you.  Don’t assume that for this reason someone has a disability, simply treat him/her as an individual because all people should be treated equally.
  4. Do not stare.  Sometimes it is an eye-opening experience to see someone with a disability in public.  However, people with disabilities have lives just like everyone else.  You are certainly allowed to look, but do not stare at a person with a disability.  Simply view them the way you view others.
  5. Respect and understand confidentiality.  People with disabilities have a right to privacy.  They are not obligated to tell you about their disability.  If someone does tell you about his/her disability, do not assume that he/she is comfortable with you telling other people about his/her disability.  Always ask permission to discuss the disability before you do it.

The new liquor store – fully accessible!

Yes, alcohol can help cause a significant number of Acquired Brain Injuries, but it’s the person who uses it, not the store. The store, brand new this year, is fully accessible, a far cry from the previous location.

The old store was, by technicality, accessible - but it was by no means so.
The new store is fully accessible.
The door opens, widely, through which I'm able to drive my scooter straight in.
Not only can I drive all through the store to choose what I'd like, I'm able to pay for it, easily.

Actions speak louder than words

Doing something for someone, without being asked, is usually somewhat insulting.
I used to think that I show that I'm useless, and didn't correct them when they simply assumed that, which was bad. I'm trying to adjust my thinking to that they simply don't know, and are trying their best. I honestly don't know what's the best way to tell people that.
On the whole, it's hard to say "what's right", because how it's received is like the injury itself, in that it's unique to the individual. I've basically gotten used to accepting the fact that people want to help, so if they want to do something that I know I can do myself, I don't do anything, and say thank you. If I objected, or acted badly, then that person might change from wanting to help, to someone who'd walk on by, thinking that they'd be annoyed.