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A Concussion is an Injured Brain

When a brain injury occurs, the functions of the neurons, nerve tracts, or sections of the brain can be affected. If the neurons and nerve tracts are affected, they can be unable or have difficulty carrying the messages that tell the brain what to do. This can change the way a person thinks, acts, feels, and moves the body.

Brain injury (concussion) can also change the complex internal functions of the body, such as regulating body temperature; blood pressure; bowel and bladder control. These changes can be temporary or permanent. They may cause impairment or a complete inability to perform a function.

Brain Injuries are Serious

It is an abnormal brain function that results from an external blast, jolt or impact to the head or from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even if the knock does not result in a skull fracture, the brain can still experience a violent rattling that leads to injury. 

  • Most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness and according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), a lack of proper diagnosis and management of concussion may result in a serious, long-term consequences or the risk of coma or death. Signs and symptoms may be noticeable immediately, or it may take days or weeks before they are present. A brain injury also:
  • The effects of a brain injury are complex and vary greatly from person to person.
  • A brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change the way your brain normally works. The effects of a brain injury depend on such factors as cause, location in the brain and severity.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

You can't see a concussion, but you might notice one or more of the symptoms listed or that you or a child "doesn't feel right" soon after, a few days later or even weeks after the injury.

  • Headache or "pressure" in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance, dizziness or double or blurry vision
  • Bothered by light or noise; sensitivity
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems; Difficulty paying attention
  • Confusion

Concussion Information and Facts

What Should I do if I Think I Have a Concussion?

  • Tell your coaches, athletic trainers, parents and medical personnel. 

    Never ignore a bump or blow to the head even if you feel fine. Also, tell your coach right away if you think you have a concussion or if one of your teammates might have a concussion.

  • Consult a Licensed Medical Professional

    A doctor or other health care professional can tell if you have a concussion and when it is okay to return to play. Licensed healthcare professional may be a physician, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner nurse, athletic trainer, neuropsychologist, or any licensed healthcare worker in Nebraska who is specifically trained in pediatric traumatic brain injury.

  • Give yourself time to get better.

    If you have a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have another concussion. Repeat concussions can increase the time it takes for you to recover and may cause more damage to your brain (second impact syndrome).

    Most persons with a concussion will recover quickly and fully. But for some, the signs and symptoms of concussion can last for days, weeks or longer.

    Because the delayed onset of symptoms during the first 24 to 48 hours is possible in children, parents - or another responsible adult - should closely and periodically monitor the child during this time. Download and Print Heads Up! Parents Fact Sheet for symptoms.

    It is important to rest and not return to play until you get the okay from your healthcare professional that you are symptom-free.