Question from: 3/10/97

Answer: A concussion refers to the condition arising after a jarring of the brain from a fall, blow, or the like. One of the earliest signs is a disoriented state. If the person is neither confused nor disoriented, then a concussion is doubtful. Another early symptom is that the person repeatedly asks the same question. After a concussion, the brain is simply not retaining information. Other early warning signs can be headache, dizziness, and ringing in the ears. Multiple episodes of vomiting indicate a concussion, but a single episode does not. Pupils of uneven size are caused by swelling on that side of the brain which creates pressure on a nerve going to the pupil and is a late sign of concussion.

It's OK let people sleep who have had a concussion, but it makes assessing the situation difficult. You should wake the person up at least every two hours so that you can observe for any changes in their behavior.

Charles H. Booras, MD


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