A concussion is a minor traumatic brain injury that may occur when the head hits an object, or a moving object strikes the head.
It can affect how the brain works for a while. A concussion can lead to a bad headache, changes in alertness, or loss of consciousness.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A concussion can result from a fall, sports activities, or car accidents. A big movement of the brain (called jarring) in any direction can cause a person to lose alertness (become unconscious). How long the person stays unconscious may be a sign of the severity of the concussion.
Concussions do not always result in loss of consciousness. Most people who have a concussion never pass out. But they may describe seeing all white, black, or stars. A person can also have a concussion and not realize it.
Hunt T, Asplund C. Concussion assessment and management. Clin Sports Med. 2009;5-17.
Landry GL. Head and neck injuries. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW III, et al., eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 680.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
are leaving the St. Francis Health Center/Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
Health System website. Persons visiting this external site assume full
responsibility for use of its information and agree that St. Francis/SCLHS is
not responsible or liable for claim, loss/damage arising from this use or for
the content of any external site. Your use of any external site is subject to
our full disclaimer.