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Discharge Instructions for Concussion

You have been diagnosed with a concussion, a type of brain injury caused by a sudden impact to your head. It can also be caused by sudden movement of your brain inside your head, such as from forceful shaking. Some concussions are mild, and most patients have a full recovery. Others are severe. Early care and monitoring are important to prevent long-term complications.

Home Care

  • Ask a friend or family member to stay with you for a few days. You should not be alone until you know how the injury has affected you.

  • Tell your caregiver to wake you every 2-3 hours during the first night. Your caregiver should call 911 if he or she can’t wake you, or if you are confused.

  • Don’t take any medication—not even aspirin—unless your doctor says it’s okay. If you have a headache, try placing a cold, damp cloth on your forehead.

  • Eat light. Clear liquids, such as broth or gelatin, are good choices.

  • Don’t drink alcohol.

  • Rest for 2-3 days; then slowly return to normal activities, such as school or work, if your doctor allows. Avoid contact activities, such as football and hockey, until your doctor says it’s okay.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to Seek Medical Attention

Your caregiver should call 911 right away if you have fallen asleep and cannot be awakened.

Otherwise, call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Vomiting.

  • Clear or bloody drainage from your nose or ear.

  • Constant drowsiness or trouble waking up.

  • Confusion or memory loss.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Trouble walking, talking, or concentrating.

  • Increased weakness or problems with coordination.

  • Constant headache that can’t be relieved or gets worse.

  • Changes in behavior or personality.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 12/21/2007
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.