Concussion is an injury caused to the brain due to trauma. When your head or body suddenly jolts or jerks, the brain may either displace slightly or spin inside the skull, resulting in a concussion. This can be injurious to brain cells and the associated blood vessels.

Concussion often causes mild effects such as loss of consciousness, confusion and lack of neural coordination, which last for a few days or weeks, and in some cases they are not even recognizable. In more severe traumatic injuries, effects of concussion may also last for few years.

Some children may undergo post-concussion syndrome in which major symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and confusion may last longer than usual, weeks, months or even years. Exact cause of post-concussion syndrome has not been found yet. But theories suggest that this syndrome occurs due to damage to neuro-transmitter system or some physiological disorder caused by concussion.

Although concussion may occur in any stage of life, children and adolescents are more prone to it than adults because their mind and body are developing during these stages of life. Risk factors that have chances of leading to concussion include:

  • Road accidents

  • Sports activities such as football, basketball, soccer

  • Athletic activities in school/college

  • Bicycle riding

  • A dangerous fall

  • A previously occurred concussion​​

Symptoms of concussion may appear immediately after the trauma or after some time period. General symptoms include:

  • Headache which increases over time

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Confusion

  • Dizziness

  • Forgetfulness 

  • Garbled speech

  • Trouble walking

  • Vision problems

  • Sensitivity to light 

  • Fatigue

  • Mood changes 

  • Increased irritability

  • Changes in sleep patterns

Infants and toddlers undergone concussion may show some signs of concussion in following ways:

  • Crankiness 

  • Excessive crying

  • Change in sleeping patterns

  • Change in eating habits 

  • Appearing dazed

  • Showing lack of interest in favourite things​

When your child shows any of the above symptoms persistently after a head injury, we recommend you to consult the paediatric neurologists at the M​ind and Brain Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital.​ ​
Your time with your doctor may be limited, so please make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started​ ​

Your doctor or your child's paediatrician will first take a medical history and then carry out a clinical examination to determine if you or your child show any cognitive, somatic, emotional and sleep related signs that could lead to the possibility of having concussion. This will be done with the help of different tests and tools. A neuropsychologist may also evaluate your child through certain tests.

In order to determine if any bleeding has occurred in the brain, Computerized Tomography (CT) scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of your child's head will be carried out. Since concussion does not develop any physical injury, brain scanning will not show any physical damages to the brain. 

Concussion does not require a surgical treatment. The best treatment for you or your child is rest. Depending on how severe the symptoms are and how long they last, your doctor will suggest you rest for a specific time period. General guidelines to follow will include:

  • Having adequate sleep at night and rest during day

  • Taking leave from work/school/college

  • Avoiding participating in stressful activities

  • Avoiding activities that put strain to the eyes such as watching television, playing video games and using computer

  • Avoiding sports activities until complete recovery

  • Taking medicines regularly if prescribed by the doctor and avoiding any medicines/drugs other than those prescribed

  • Visiting the doctor for regular follow up.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

 The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

 The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.