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CRM: Symptoms—LOC, Amnesia
Concussion Recognition & Management
Module 3 Symptoms & Signs

LOC, Amnesia, & More


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Symptoms and Recovery

Sudden onset of any concussion symptom is a red flag for possible concussion.

  • The number and severity of symptoms as well as previous concussions are associated with prolonged recovery.

  • Brief LOC and/or impact seizures do not reliably predict the length of recovery.

  • A child generally takes longer to recover from a concussion than an adult does.
drawing girl with red hot spot inside forehead

Loss of Consciousness (LOC)

martial arts fighter out cold on the mat

A change in mental status at the time of an injury signals concussion, even if there is no loss of consciousness (LOC).

  • Concussion can occur without LOC.

  • It's estimated that less than 10% of concussions involve LOC.

  • LOC at the time of concussion must be viewed as a sign of a potentially worrisome traumatic brain injury, especially if it lasts longer than 30 minutes.

  • LOC followed by more severe acute neural status abnormalities carries a greater risk of intracranial pathology.

Amnesia

A change in mental status at the time of an injury signals concussion, even if there is no amnesia.

  • It's estimated that less than 25% of concussions involve post-traumatic amnesia.

  • Concussion patients with amnesia experience more persistent symptoms than those with brief LOC.

  • Amnesia can be retrograde or anterograde.
black/white photo of young forlorn man sitting on cements stair steps

Retrograde Amnesia

football scoreboard with question marks

Retrograde amnesia is the loss of memory of events that took place immediately preceding an injury.

  • Typically it affects short term memory centers.

  • It’s noticeable in responses to questions about such topics as date, time, location, score, recent meals, or play responsibilities.

Anterograde Amnesia

Anterograde amnesia involves a deficit in forming new memory. Post-traumatic amnesia is a type of anterograde amnesia that happens as a result of an injury. This can be evident in failure to recall details after the event in response to questioning, such as about the final score, dressing, leaving, going home, and so on.

girl looking out car window


Module 3 Symptoms & Signs

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