Concussion Symptoms & Emergency Care

Concussion Warning Signs That Require Immediate Emergency Treatment

The phrase ‘getting your bell rung’ has taken on a new meaning over the last decade as the field of medicine has uncovered more and more about concussions and their impact over both the short and long term. Researchers who have studied concussions have concluded that they represent a mild form of traumatic brain injury that could become more serious if left untreated.

It’s not just football players who are affected by this type of head injury; anyone can be at risk. Falls and car accidents are among the leading causes of concussions each year, along with sports and recreation-related injuries. Ben Bingham, lead attorney for Benson & Bingham, a personal injury firm in Las Vegas, emphasizes the legal perspective on concussions from car accidents, stating, “Victims of car accidents often overlook the symptoms of a concussion due to the immediate shock and adrenaline. It’s crucial to recognize these signs early and seek appropriate legal and medical help to address potential long-term consequences.”

Every bump to the head certainly does not equal a concussion. However, there are some telltale signs everyone needs to be aware of and prepared to address — especially those symptoms that require care at The Emergency Center.

Symptoms Of A Concussion

A headache is the most common symptom of a concussion, but according to the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, there are a variety of other symptoms someone who has a concussion may experience:

  • Confusion 
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Ear ringing 
  • Change in taste or smell
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Issues concentrating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Trouble falling asleep

Symptoms usually start immediately after a blow to the head. However, they may take up to 24 hours to appear and may last two or three weeks.

Concussion Emergencies

Just having a bit of a headache after a blow to the head is not a medical emergency. And some concussion symptoms can be followed up on with a medical professional in the days after they first appear. Some symptoms, though, require immediate treatment at The Emergency Center, including:

  • Any loss of consciousness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting more than once
  • Confusion or feeling disoriented (e.g., not knowing where you are)
  • Memory loss or cognitive decline from the time of injury
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Severe headache or headache that gets increasingly worse
  • Fluid leaking from the nose or ears
  • Tingling in arms or legs
  • Slurring speech

Why Immediate Treatment Of Concussion Is Important

Outside of experiencing a few of the most serious of these symptoms, some people may wonder why emergency care is necessary since concussions can’t be treated with a splint or simply go away with the right medication. But without the right recovery plan, symptoms may linger. 

Also, it’s important to track concussion history as additional concussions can lead to serious long-term brain issues. Moreover, people with previous concussions are at higher risk of sustaining another one, especially if it is not properly managed.

At The Emergency Center, patients with suspected concussions are given a series of cognitive tests to help assess several different areas of brain function as well as reflexes. Depending on the results, a CT scan may be needed to rule out a more serious brain injury.

Medications may be given for symptoms like headache, and the doctor will help outline a recovery plan that often includes rest and avoiding certain activities and environments for a certain amount of time to avoid symptoms re-occurring.  While you can’t undo a concussion, The Emergency Center can help you take steps to recover and prevent your bell from getting rung the next time.

Enjoy life. We’ll be here for the bumps along the way. 


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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644