Emergency Care for concussion

February 18, 2017 at 12:40 PM


What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that generally results in less immediate or obvious signs. Most concussions are temporary and resolve naturally, but it is possible for one to progress into a life- threatening condition.

Suspect a concussion after a significant blow to the head or body when the affected person is unable to remember what has happened just before or after the incident, or recall simple facts about it. The person may move clumsily, answer questions slowly, or show a change in mood or personality. Additional signs include the following:

  • ·         Looking stunned or dazed
  • ·         Headache
  • ·         Nausea
  • ·         Dizziness
  • ·         Difficulty in balance
  • ·         Visual problems

A first aid provider may be called upon to give advice on whether someone who may have a concussion is okay to return to normal activities. Unfortunately, there is no current concussion evaluation process for use by those trained in first aid. The most important steps for someone trained in first aid to follow in the early identification of concussion is to recognise a possible injury may have occurred and remove the person from the activity. ACC National Guidelines on sport concussion in New Zealand include a tool to help you recognise and remove. Remember if in doubt sit them out!

Get Help ASAP

If you suspect a concussion may have occurred, the affected person should be evaluated by a healthcare professional or EMS personnel as soon as possible.

Because of the potential progressive nature of concussion, it is best to not allow the person to perform actions that could pose a risk for additional injury until he or she can be adequately assessed by a healthcare professional.

More Info for Parents

Both the Ministry of Health in New Zealand and ACC offer further information for parents, schools and youth sport coaches to educate and build awareness about concussion injuries.

Get 2017 off to a lifesaving start: Find a Medic First Aid class near you!



HSI Blog team Emergency Care for Concussion

ACC National Guidelines, Sport Concussion in New Zealand


Tags: concussion first aid sports
Category: First Aid