Fortunately, the days are largely gone (at least for school-age athletes) where a person can suffer a blow to the head during a game, “shake it off” and go back into the game without being properly checked out.
However, one of the dangerous effects of doing this — second impact syndrome (SIS) – can still occur if someone suffers a second concussion before an earlier one has sufficiently healed. In most cases, SIS is fatal. Even it’s not, it typically results in lifelong disabilities.
Why is SIS so dangerous?
If someone suffers a subsequent concussion while they still have concussion symptoms, the brain can become unable to regulate cerebral spinal fluid pressure. That can cause it to swell and possibly become herniated or ruptured.
The event that causes the SIS doesn’t have to be big. Even a minor blow or a car accident where the head snaps back and forth could do it.
The best way to prevent SIS is to see a doctor right away if you or a loved one has suffered a head injury – even a seemingly minor one. Many people who suffer concussions don’t lose consciousness and may feel well enough that they don’t get it checked out.
If a doctor has diagnosed a concussion, it’s crucial to follow their orders. These generally involve not doing anything mentally or physically strenuous for a while. This typically requires taking some time off work or school in addition to sports, exercise and driving.
If you’ve suffered a concussion due to someone else’s actions or negligence, it’s important not to minimize the financial damages you suffer as you seek the maximum compensation you are due.