Kell West Regional Hospital

5420 Kell Blvd.

Wichita Falls, TX 76310

940-692-5888

 

© 2015 Kell West Regional Hospital

                          

5500 Kell West Blvd - Suite 500      

       Open 8am-5pm     Mon-Fri 

        940-264 - Care (2273) 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. It alters the way your brain functions. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.  Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.

 

2. How common are concussions?

 The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussions (diagnosed or not) every year in the U.S. These estimates work out to more than at least 5,000 concussions per day.

 

3. When are concussions most likely to occur?

Concussions are most common during the teenage years, due primarily to sports, and in individuals over age 65, due to falls. However, no one is immune to sustaining a concussion, whether it be from a strong hit in football, a car accident, a fall, or an assault.

 

4. What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Signs and symptoms may include: 

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head

  • Temporary loss of consciousness

  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog

  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event

  • Dizziness or "seeing stars"

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Slurred speech

  • Delayed response to questions

  • Appearing dazed

  • Fatigue

Some symptoms may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury, such as: 

  • Concentration and memory complaints

  • Irritability and other personality changes

  • Sensitivity to light and noise

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression

  • Disorders of taste and smell

 

5. What is a brain contusion?

A contusion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that causes bruising of the brain tissue. The severity of a TBI can range from a mild concussion to the extremes of coma or even death. It may result when a sudden physical assault on the head causes damage to the brain. The most common cause of TBI is motor vehicle accidents, accounting for almost half of all TBIs that require hospitalization. Sports or physical activity is the second most common cause, and assaults are third. For those who are over age 65, falls are the number one cause. The diagnosis of a head injury is made with a physical examination and diagnostic tests. In addition to a physical examination, the physician may order an MRI or CT-scan of the head to detect any bleeding, brain damage or skull fractures in patients with head injuries.

 

5. What is a concussion specialist?

A concussion specialist is a licensed health care professional certified in identifying, treating, and managing mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in patients.

Certification requirements may vary depending on the state and the professional organization awarding recognition. Specialists typically have completed formal training or coursework in mTBI and stay up-to-date on state, national, and international guidelines for concussion patient diagnosis and care.

 

6. Why see a concussion specialist at a concussion clinic?

 Concussion specialists have extensive experience treating concussions and understand the specific needs and concerns of concussed athletes. They provide comprehensive care and focus on returning athletes to sport, work, and school. Concussion specialists can help their patients create and follow an effective recovery plan based upon their age, activity level, work or school schedule, symptoms, and other factors. Appropriate treatment and a proper management plan may speed recovery and yield better outcomes. 

At the Texoma Concussion Clinic we incorporate many specialists into one clinic. For example, we provide patients not only with a neurologist, but with sports medicine physicians, psychologists, and physical therapists as needed. By working together, these specialists can offer comprehensive care to your treatment regimen.

 

 

7. What is post concussion syndrome?

Post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder in which various symptoms — such as headaches and dizziness — last for weeks and sometimes months after the injury that caused the concussion.

Concussion is a traumatic brain injury, usually occurring after a blow to the head. Loss of consciousness isn't required for a diagnosis of concussion or post-concussion syndrome. In fact, the risk of post-concussion syndrome doesn't appear to be associated with the severity of the initial injury.

In most people, post-concussion syndrome symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days and go away within three months, though they can persist for a year or more. Post-concussion syndrome treatments are aimed at easing specific symptoms.

 

8. What are the symptoms of post concussion syndrome?

Post-concussion symptoms include:

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Loss of concentration and memory

  • Noise and light sensitivity

  • Headaches

 

Headaches that occur after a concussion can vary and may feel like tension-type headaches or migraines. Most, however, are tension-type headaches, which may be associated with a neck injury that happened at the same time as the head injury.

   

In some cases, people experience behavior or emotional changes after a mild traumatic brain injury. Family members may notice that the person has become more irritable, suspicious, argumentative or stubborn.

                                                                                     mayoclinic.org

 

9. What is the treatment for a concussion?

Rest is the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover from a concussion. Your doctor will recommend that you physically and mentally rest to recover from a concussion. 

This means avoiding general physical exertion, including sports or any vigorous activities, until you have no symptoms.

This rest also includes limiting activities that require thinking and mental concentration, such as playing video games, watching TV, schoolwork, reading, texting or using a computer. 

Your doctor may recommend that you have shortened school day or workdays, take breaks during the day, or have reduced school workloads or work assignments as you recover from a concussion.

As your symptoms improve, you may gradually add more activities that involve thinking, such as doing more schoolwork or work assignments, or increasing your time spent at school or work.

For headaches, try taking a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Avoid other pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and aspirin, as there's a possibility these medications may increase the risk of bleeding.

If you or your child sustained a concussion while playing competitive sports, ask your doctor or your child's doctor when it is safe to return to play. Resuming sports too soon increases the risk of a second concussion and of lasting, potentially fatal brain injury.

Evidence is emerging that some people who have had multiple concussions over the course of their lives are at greater risk of developing lasting, and even progressive, impairment that limits their ability to function.

No one should return to play or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present.

                                                                                           mayoclinic.org