Trauma First Aid: Avoiding Concussions

Trauma First Aid: Avoiding Concussions

Published: November 8, 2022 | Last Updated: August 8, 2023

All injuries can be scary, but this is especially true when dealing with head injuries. That’s why an understanding of being trained in first aid is vital – it’s necessary as part of developing situational awareness to understand common health problems and injuries so that you can help save lives and keep those around you safe - especially if you’re someone responsible for the safety of others, such as an employer.

Though concussions could be considered the least serious form of brain injury, they are still brain injuries, and the risks should be taken seriously. The risk of scenarios like this occurring when in an unknown or dangerous environment is why an understanding of the core principles of situational awareness is key.

women-with-head-concussion

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a sudden, short-lived lack of cognitive function that can occur after a head injury. It is the most common form of brain injury, known medically as a minor traumatic brain injury.

Concussion symptoms can include:

  • Brief loss of consciousness after the head injury
  • Short-lived memory loss
  • A period of confusion, including delays in answering questions
  • Visual disturbances, such as blurred vision

In all day-to-day activities, there is a stark risk of possible head injury. Because of this, it’s vital to stay aware of your surroundings, maintaining situational awareness that will help keep yourself and others safe from harm. Knowing what to do should something goes wrong is crucial. On top of this, it’s also important to note that this risk is only elevated when travelling or in unfamiliar places.

When to Seek Medical Help

Concussion can only be diagnosed by a healthcare professional trained in assessing head injury. 

If you or someone else is experiencing what you believe to be mild concussion symptoms, applying a cold compress to the injured area and using the recommended dose of paracetamol to suppress pain is a great idea, as per the NHS’ advice.

The NHS also advises that you visit the A&E (accident and emergency) department if you or someone in your care has sustained a head injury and has the following more serious symptoms:

  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss, such as not being able to remember what happened before or after the injury
  • Drowsiness that occurs when you would normally be awake
  • Persistent headaches since the injury
  • Changes in behaviour, such as irritability, being easily distracted or having no interest in the outside world – this is a particularly common sign in children under five
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance or problems walking
  • Difficulty speaking, such as slurred speech
  • Problems with reading or writing
  • Vomiting since the injury
  • Problems with vision, such as double vision
  • Loss of power in part of the body, such as weakness in an arm or leg
  • Difficulties with understanding what people say
  • Clear fluid leaving the nose or ears (this could be cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain)
  • Sudden deafness in one or both ears
  • Any wound to the head or face

Alternatively, if someone is suffering from the following severe symptoms, you should dial 999 immediately:

  • Remains unconscious after the initial injury
  • Bleeding from one or both ears
  • Has been vomiting since the injury
  • Suffering from a seizure or fit
  • Difficulty staying awake, speaking, or understanding what people are saying

It is especially important to make sure you follow the correct procedures for getting help if someone is in your care, such as an employee or client. And as always, you should ensure that the surrounding area is safe, especially if trying to help someone in a vulnerable position.

Identifying Who is at Risk

Certain things make some people more vulnerable to head injuries than others; this includes:

  • Being aged 65 or older
  • Having a health condition which makes you bleed more easily, including haemophilia
  • Having a health condition that makes your blood more prone to clotting, including thrombophilia
  • Having had previous brain surgery or brain complications
  • Taking anticoagulant medication to prevent blood clots, such as aspirin or warfarin

If any of these apply to the head trauma victim, then it would be a good idea to give an increased amount of attention to the symptoms they’re facing, as acting quick is vital. If you’re seriously worried about someone’s well-being, don’t be afraid to call 999 for emergency help.

Specialist First Aid and Situational Awareness Courses from Advanced Tactical Resources

The first aid and situational awareness trainers at Advanced Tactical Resources are specialised in teaching both situational awareness skills, along with vital first aid knowledge. With extensive experience in handling trauma in the real world throughout a variety of fields, embarking on a course with us means hands-on experience with a true expert. 

Signing up for a course from the experts at Advanced Tactical Resources will keep those around you safe and could end up saving a life as you learn vital life skills to help you handle a variety of dangerous situations and scenarios.

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