Myth #2 – You Have to be Knocked Out to Suffer a Brain Injury
Some people still think that it is still necessary to suffer a loss of consciousness (be knocked out) in order to suffer a brain injury. However, more than 30 years ago the Congress of Neurological Surgeons concluded that a head injury that leads to a change in mental status (being dazed or confused) without any loss of consciousness is a form of brain injury. This type of injury is what is commonly referred to today as a concussion.
When I was growing up, if a hockey player or football player “had their bell rung” it was common practise for the coach to simply have the player sit on the sidelines until they were able to “shake it off”. Then the player would return to the game.
Today, sports medicine specialists now recognize that “having your bell rung” or suffering a concussion is a serious injury. The cumulative effects of repeated concussions can cause lasting disability and functional impairment. In fact, the risk of serious injury from concussion is so significant that the Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban on body checking for hockey players less than 15 years of age.
Over 10 years ago the Journal of the American Medical Association called for more education for family physicians about the effects of mild brain injury. The American Medical Association was concerned that there was a common misperception that it was necessary for a patient to be knocked unconscious in order to suffer a concussion.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, mild traumatic brain injury can occur with brief or no loss of consciousness. Studies published by the American Psychiatric Association’s Textbook of Neuropsychiatry confirms that patients with mild traumatic brain injury can have physical, perceptual, cognitive and emotional symptoms that collectively is now called post-concussive syndrome.
Do You Think You Need Our Help? Halifax Brain Injury lawyer John McKiggan Q.C. has served on the board of the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia (Halifax Chapter) and is the author of Brain Matter: The Survivor’s Guide to Brain Injury Claims an educational resource for brain injury survivors and their families.
If you or someone in your family has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you can call brain injury lawyer John McKiggan Q.C. toll free at (902) 423-2050 or contact us online for a free consultation.