Head Injuries

Head injury can occur from motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports and fighting/violent injury.

EMERGENCY ROOM evaluation is advised if any of the following occurs:

  • Loss of consciousness ("blacked out")
  • Fainting
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Severe headaches
  • Visual loss/change
  • Weakness of arm or leg
  • Seizure
  • Unequal pupil
  • Bleeding or clear fluid from ears or nose

Symptoms of concussion may be dizziness or feeling confused for several seconds or minutes after a head injury. Especially with sports/athletic injuries, a concussion can occur with no loss of consciousness. The brain can sustain injury from repeated head injury. Common symptoms from brain injury include: headaches, dizziness, confusion, trouble concentrating, memory loss, fatigue, and mood changes.

Avoid alcohol or any drugs that will alter your ability to detect worsening symptoms.

Concussions are "graded" according to symptoms (grade 3 is most serious).

GRADE 1: Concussion Head Injury

  • NO LOSS of consciousness and symptoms of concussion last fewer than 15 minutes
  • Athletes with a Grade 1 Head Injury: if this is the first concussion, they can play sports if they have NO symptoms at rest or exertion after 15 minutes
  • Athletes with a Grade 1 Head Injury: if this is the second concussion, they can play sports if they have NO symptoms at rest or exertion for one week
  • Athletes with a Grade 1 Head Injury: if this is the third concussion- consultation with a neurologist is advised before further sports participation and head injury

GRADE 2: Concussion Head Injury

  • NO LOSS of consciousness and symptoms of concussion longer than 15 minutes
  • Athletes with a Grade 2 Head Injury: if this is the first concussion can play sports if they have NO symptoms at rest or exertion for one week
  • Athletes with a Grade 2 Head Injury: if this is the second concussion can play sports if they have NO symptoms at rest or exertion for two weeks
  • Athletes with a Grade 2 Head Injury: if this is the third concussion they should consult with a neurologist about further sports and head injury risk

GRADE 3: Concussion Head Injury

  • LOSS of CONSCIOUSNESS of any duration (seconds/minutes) is a Grade 3
  • This could be a potentially serious head injury within the brain and should have emergency room evaluation to examine for bleeding, fractures, and neck injuries
  • If this is the second or third concussion it is advised NOT to play sports until evaluation and discussion with a neurologist.