First Aid for Concussion

While it is not possible to administer first aid to treat concussion, it is important to create the best possible conditions till medical help arrives.

Following are the steps for first aid for concussion:

  • Assess the Person – Examine the head for wounds and external injuries. However, keep in mind that minor scalp cuts and wounds tend to bleed profusely but do not cause much long-term damage. On the other hand, less visible injuries can even be fatal is not treated in time. It is essential that a trained medical professional evaluate the person after any head injury especially in cases of whiplash or a serious road accident or where there has been loss of consciousness.
  • Observe for emergency symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and numbness on one side of the body, slurred speech or uncoordinated movements. If any of the above occur call for emergency medical treatment at the earliest.
  • Do not Move the Victim – Try and keep the person as still as possible as moving him could induce further injury. Never let the victim walk away as symptoms may not appear immediately but can become evident in a few hours or more.
  • Follow the AVPU Code to Assess Consciousness – To know if the victim is conscious, check for the following:
A – Is the victim alert? Does he answer correctly to questions such as where are you? What is today’s date? What is your name?

V – Is the victim responding to voice? Is he following some simple commands?

P – Is the victim responding to pain? Can he feel your touch? Pinch or poke him to see if he responds

U –
Is the victim totally unresponsive to any attempts on your part?
  • Cool Down the Area of Injury – Apply damp clothes or an ice pack to the injured area of the brain as this can prevent swelling.
  • Offer basic pain relief such as Tylenol but never give aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory drugs as these can aggravate or cause internal bleeding.

  1. Bruce J. Diamond, Samuel C. Shiflett, Nancy Feiwel, Robert J. Matheis, Olga Noskin, Jennifer A. Richards, Nancy E. Schoenberger, Ginkgo biloba extract: Mechanisms and clinical indications, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 81, Issue 5, May 2000, Pages 668-678, ISSN 0003-9993,