What is a Concussion?


A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.  Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

Signs of a Concussion – Observed

Signs of a Concussion – Reported

Signs and symptoms generally show up soon after the injury. However, you may not know how serious the injury is at first and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days. For example, in the first few minutes the person might be a little confused or a bit dazed, but an hour later he/she might not be able to remember how he or she got hurt.  You should continue to check for signs of concussion right after the injury and a few days after the injury. If the person’s concussion signs or symptoms get worse, you should seek immediate medical care.

Caring for a Concussion