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Posted on 08-24-2014

Head traumas and concussions during an auto accident are a very real risk.... even if no direct impact to the head occurred. There are many physical and cognitive changes that can occur when someone is suffering from a concussion (also known as a mild traumatic brain injury).  If you have been involved in an auto accident, make sure you are assessed immediately to rule out any possibility of post-concussive syndrome.  Symptoms may be immediately evident, such as an immediate headache, dizziness, balance problems, or vertigo and nausea.  Other symptoms may take days or even up to 2 weeks to become evident.  The following is a list of the three levels of head trauma and post-concussive syndrome.    

Grade 1 / First Degree Concussion

•             No actual loss of consciousness.

•             Blurring of consciousness lasting less than 10-20 seconds.  Minimal or no signs are present.

•             The only neurologic deficit is a brief period of post-traumatic amnesia lasting less than 30 minutes.

•             EEG, CT or MRI are usually not necessary after a mild concussion.  If post-concussion syndrome occurs these studies should be done.

Grade 2 / Second Degree Concussion:

•             Blurring or loss of consciousness lasting 20 seconds to 1-2 minutes.  Minimal to moderate symptoms and signs are present.

•             Will rarely occur without a loss of consciousness.  Typically there will be a protracted period of post-traumatic amnesia lasting over 30 minutes and less than 24 hours.

•             Generally overnight admission for observation and CT scan if necessary.

Grade 3 / Third Degree Concussion:

•             Loss of consciousness lasting more than five minutes.

There will be loss of consciousness with a sustained period of post-traumatic amnesia lasting longer than 24 hours. [42]

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