First aid for concussion involves steps such as checking consciousness, monitoring a casualty’s condition, and calling 000 for emergency assistance. A healthcare professional may prescribe painkillers, anti-nausea tablets, or other treatments in a hospital. There may also be a need to follow self-care suggestions for proper rest. Full recovery is only when you must resume activities such as sports, work, or school with a doctor’s approval. A concussion is the most common type of head injury which occurs often in sports. So, if you are an athlete or know someone who plays sports, the following information may be helpful to you.
How to Treat a Concussion with First Aid?
A first aid course teaches you how to perform the following steps correctly in cases of someone having a head concussion.
Assess the Scene
Before you attend, make sure that the scene is safe for you and the casualty.
Check for Consciousness
See if a casualty is conscious, if not, check their airway and breathing. Do not move them unless it is necessary. First aid training at Belmont Sports & Recreation Club, 400 Abernethy Rd, Cloverdale WA 6105, Australia teaches you the proper execution of these steps.
Check the Casualty’s Condition
Check their mental awareness and eyes. Watch out for possible vomiting. Monitor them to see if their condition gets worse as additional symptoms may occur later.
Call an Ambulance
Call 000 for emergency assistance.
How to Treat a Concussion in an Emergency Department?
According to the Better Health Channel, a website of the Victorian Government, a patient may expect to receive the following methods for treating concussion in an emergency department.
Mild painkillers to manage the headache.
These help in treating nausea or vomiting.
Healthcare professionals may need additional time to monitor a casualty and/or advise them not to eat or drink unless circumstances change.
Recommendation for Further Tests
There may be a need to undergo additional tests such as an x-ray and/or a CT scan.
How to Treat a Concussion at Home?
Once a health professional discharges a casualty from a hospital, he/she will likely advise the following self-care treatments at home.
Have the casualty take the remaining time of the day to rest at home.
Use an Instant Ice Pack
If there are any painful/swollen areas, apply an instant ice pack.
Consider mild painkillers for headaches.
Find Someone to Assist
Contact a person to be with the casualty in the next 24 hours in case of assistance.
Eat and Drink According to a Doctor’s Advice
A doctor may discourage eating or drinking for the next 6 to 12 hours. Make sure that the casualty follows it and have them consume food on the right schedule. Alcohol is also not good for the first 24 hours.
Avoid Sedatives and Other Drugs
Make sure that the casualty only takes drugs a doctor prescribed them.
Wake Up Children
If a casualty is a child, allow them to sleep, but wake them every 4 hours to check their condition.
What are the Concussion Guidelines in Australia to Resume Sports and Other Activities?
Concussion in Australian Sport, a government website under the Australian Sports Commission, recommends the following rest and recovery timelines to manage a concussion.
- An athlete must have 24 – 48 hours of rest from school or work after sustaining a concussion
- Prioritising ‘Return to learn’ over Return to sport’ through regular breaks, rests, and additional time to complete tasks for children and adolescents aged 18 years or younger
The same resource provides a timeline of levels and activities athletes may gradually do after an incident on its website.
How Common is Concussion in Sports?
According to the Concussion in Australian Sport, it affects athletes at all levels and is becoming a concern for potential health ramifications. It’s why the government agency provides evidence-based information on concussions for athletes, parents, teachers, coaches, and medical practitioners. It also provides concussion protocols, assists sporting and medical organisations, and provides a consistent approach to managing concussions in Australia. Visit its website to access the resources and find more information about its services.
How to Prevent a Concussion?
Physiopedia, a not-for-profit organisation that educates rehabilitation professionals, recommends the following prevention tips against a concussion.
- Increasing awareness about concussions through education and training
- Using sports equipment and headgear that meet the national guidelines
- Following recommendations for physical, cognitive, and emotional rest in concussion management protocols
- Following the Return to Play and Return to Learn guidelines
- Integrating neuromuscular training warm-up strategies and vision training
The website’s discussion about concussions provides additional information on why they suggest these tips.
First aid, treatments in an emergency department, and self-care help treat a concussion. The Concussion in Australian Sport government agency recommends 24 to 48 hours of rest before resuming sports, work, and school. Following this must be done with the guidance of a health professional. Unfortunately, concussion in sports affects athletes at all levels and is becoming a health concern in the country. But, with the government’s support and preventive measures, it may be possible to avoid a concussion.