Neurosciences Institute

Concussion & brain injury

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Get help immediately when you see signs of a head injury

The terms concussion and brain injury describe serious trauma. These conditions can be caused by a blow to the head or sudden jarring that disrupts the brain’s normal work. Traumatic brain injury was a factor in about 2.5 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That number is high, but it’s important to know:

  • No two concussions are the same
  • Concussions are treatable
  • A personalized approach can lead to the best recovery outcomes

Novant Health has a care team dedicated to treating these injuries, as well as advanced technology to evaluate concussions and help you manage your care. Our team is here to support you throughout your recovery and help determine when you are ready to return to your regular activities.

Sports concussion care

Concussion is one of the most common injuries suffered by athletes, particularly those who participate in high-risk or contact sports. At Novant Health, our primary care sports medicine providers have advanced training in sports concussion evaluation and management. Whether you are involved in school sports or Olympic-level and professional competition, you can find resources at Novant Health for preventing concussions or recovering if you are injured. Our experts partner with organizations and teams to provide screening; conditioning; education for coaches, parents and players; and game-day medical services to keep athletes safe and healthy.

Concussion warning signs

Symptoms of a concussion or brain injury may appear immediately or even days or weeks later. The warning signs are usually temporary, but sometimes damage may be long-term or even permanent.

Symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Balance problems
  • Loss of consciousness

Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include traumatic brain injury, according to the CDC. Get an evaluation as soon as possible if you or a family member has a head injury. The evaluation may include a series of tests related to learning, memory concentration and problem-solving to help identify the effects of a concussion. Depending on the severity of your injury, your provider may also order a CT scan of your brain.

It is important that you follow the recovery plan made by your provider. If you experience a second concussion before your provider says it is safe to return to your activities, you could get second-impact syndrome, a condition that is often fatal and almost always leads to permanent damage.

If you or a family member suspects a concussion, visit a Novant Health clinic or urgent care center for an expert evaluation and recovery plan to reduce the impact of the injury and prevent additional damage.