Fatigue can lead to injuries

Psychiatry, Psychosomatics & Psychotherapy

13.05.2014

Concussion: Symptoms can only appear hours later

After a head fall or bump, dizziness, nausea and headache are clear signs of a concussion (commotio cerebri).

“Typical symptoms of a concussion can only occur 6 to 12 hours after the accident and should always be seen by a doctor. A loss of consciousness from a few seconds to a few minutes as well as a memory loss for the time immediately before or after the accident also indicate a concussion. The emergency doctor should always be called in the event of these complaints, ”advises Dr. Frank Bergmann, Chairman of the Professional Association of German Neurologists (BVDN) in Krefeld. The typical symptoms of a concussion (e.g. loss of consciousness, nausea) are caused by mechanical irritation of the nerve fibers, which can be associated with a temporary loss of function. Doctors also speak of a slight traumatic brain injury in the case of a concussion.

In the case of head injuries, there is always the risk that the accident victim will lose consciousness one more time and be additionally injured by another fall. “The person concerned should lie down with his upper body raised until the emergency doctor arrives. At all times, someone should check the victim's consciousness and talk to him calmly. Under no circumstances should the person concerned be left alone in this situation, ”emphasizes Dr. Miner.

Since cerebral hemorrhage or brain contusions can occur as a result of a traumatic brain injury, it is often necessary for those affected to be medically monitored in a clinic 24 hours after the accident. “If there are no serious injuries, the patient can then be discharged home. The main aim of the treatment is to alleviate the symptoms through physical rest and the administration of light painkillers and medication against nausea, ”explains Dr. Miner.

A concussion usually heals without any consequences, but it should be taken seriously as it can lead to complications under certain circumstances. “In some cases, a so-called“ post-commotional syndrome ”occurs after a few weeks. Those affected can then suffer from dizziness, fatigue and headaches. Psychological symptoms can also occur, such as depressive moods, fear, forgetfulness, concentration disorders and irritability, ”reports the neurologist. However, these symptoms usually gradually regress completely after a few weeks, and only rarely do they turn into a chronic state.

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