A concussion—or a traumatic brain injury—can happen in sports, at school, at play or in falls or accidents. Whenever any trauma to the head occurs, it’s a good idea to have a professional evaluation done. Our board-certified physicians at Medco ER & Urgent Care are capable to evaluating and treating head injuries with state-of-the-art CT Scan and treatment modalities.
“Concussions can start out seeming like no injury at all, then, later on, additional symptoms can manifest,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “That’s why we always encourage our patients to come in right away so we can start the concussion evaluation protocol and watch the patient for signs of serious brain injury. We can also monitor the patient in the ER for extended period of time and save them a trip to the hospital.”
While an injury to the head can commonly occur from falling, contact sports are also notorious for causing concussions. Any blow to the head, jolt or violent shaking can cause a concussion. When this happens, patients often try to self-diagnose, which can lead to three common errors in judgment.
Mistake #1: Ignoring it
Since symptoms may be subtle at the onset of the injury, patients often think they will be fine after a little rest. Early symptoms can include a headache, nausea, fatigue, feeling dazed and a little confused.
“These symptoms alone may not raise any red flags,” said Dr. Vora. “That’s why it’s important to continue observing the injuredpatient and to bring him or her in for a medical evaluation.”
Early symptoms can deteriorate into more noticeable symptoms such as memory loss, vomiting, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, sensitivity to light and sound, change in taste and smells, concentration problems, balance problems or seizures. If you notice symptoms changing or deteriorating, seek medical attention immediately.
Mistake #2: Underestimating it
Many young athletes think they can sit on the bench for a few minutes and then get back in the game. After all, playing through a headache and other pain is all part of being an athlete. When asked if they’re ready to go back in, many will say “yes” because they want to keep playing. Underestimating the severity of the blow is a serious mistake that can lead to a longer recovery time and even more severe symptoms.
“Whenever you receive a blow to the head—whether you lose consciousness or not—it’s a good idea to remove yourself from the game,” said Dr. Vora. “In the long run, you can be back to playing your favorite sport again faster if you take proper care of your head injury at the onset. Most importantly, it’s best to wear proper sport gear such as a helmet to minimize a head injury in the first place.”
Mistake #3: Reinjuring it
When a concussion occurs, it is a serious injury. But when a second concussion occurs, it can be devastating. Staying in the game and risking a second blow to the head can be a fatal mistake.
“Most patients fully recover from an initial concussion, but a secondary concussion can be difficult to recover from and can leave permanent damage to the brain,” said Dr. Vora. “It can even be fatal. That’s why you must take careful steps to make sure you don’t receive a second concussion.”
What to do if you’ve had a blow to the head
If someone you know has suffered a head injury, start paying careful attention to that person. Asking the patient simple questions to see if he/she is able to answer them easily can give you an early indication of any brain trauma. Don’t let the patient drive, rather, drive him or her to the nearest Medco ER.
“Remember to resist the temptation to self-diagnose,” said Dr. Vora. “The symptoms are often hard to notice without a proper medical exam and can be more severe than you realize.”
Get concussion treatment at Medco ER & Urgent Care
At Medco ER, we have a proven concussion protocol in place and we know just what to do to treat your injury. We can evaluate your injury and make the best recommendations for what needs to be done to avoid any reinjury. We are open 24/7 every day of the year so you can be confident that a board-certified physician is always available to help when you need it.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.