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Signs of concussion

I really should know not to leap out of bed, I sometimes have low blood pressure and have fainted before.  Last time I keeled over backwards and cut my head open on the tiled floor resulting in 24 hours in hospital for observation.  Yesterday morning I did it again, I jumped out of bed too fast at 6 am, passed out and once again banged my head on the floor.  At 9 am I was still too nauseous and light-headed to get out of bed.  During the morning I felt dizzy and drowsy, by mid-day I decided that it was sensible to go to ER at the local hospital to be checked out.

I am mainly writing this post to refer back to if this happens again, it may also help someone who has fainted and suspects concussion. When I felt a faint coming on I bent my knees which meant that I fell less distance. I was unconscious for roughly 5 minutes, it would have been longer but my son found me and woke me. He said that I was lying in a very awkward position and making sounds which indicated that I was having trouble breathing. Immediately after I was very nauseous and got the chills, was drenched in sweat and desperately thirsty. I did not have a headache just pain in my temple where my head impacted the floor. I was extremely drowsy all day but suspect that this was a result of shock rather than the concussion. The nausea lasted for about 3 hours.

At ER the doctor checked the following, blood pressure, pupils (to see if they were dilated), and muscle tone, he did a few exercises where I had to resist against him, pushing with my arms, I held my arms out and he tried to push them down. He asked if I could remember events prior to fainting. He asked if I had any tingling, loss of sensation or numbness in any part of my body. I was given the all clear and sent home with the following check list.

ADULT HEAD INJURY CHART

Monitor the patient for 24 hour period and return immediately to Emergency Department, if any of the following signs or symptoms occur:

Severe headache which is not relieved by pain killers.
Persistent vomiting
Problems with vision e.g. double vision or blurred vision.
Unreasonable drowsiness (NOTE: Refrain from using strong pain killers that may cause drowsiness and mimic some symptoms.)
Confusion or disorientation
Fits (seizures) even if they involve only one part of the body.
Difference in size of the right and left pupils (black spots at the centre of the coloured part of the eye).
Paralysis or a marked decrease in movement of any limb.
Ataxia (An unstable walk)
Altered level of consciousness e.g. difficluty rousing from sleep

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