What is a Severe Concussion?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 18 December 2019
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Concussions are generally ranked on a three-tiered scale, and a severe concussion is the worst type. What separates a severe concussion from the other types is that the patient is generally knocked unconscious by the impact. If the person was knocked out for a longer period of time, it is often a sign that the injury was more severe, but any amount of unconsciousness is generally considered good enough to justify the classification of a severe concussion.

Concussions happen when the brain moves around too much, leading to impacts with the inside of the skull. In a sense, it is like any other kind of impact injury, and it takes time for it to heal in the same way as a bruise would. With the brain, an impact injury will generally cause some level of mental dysfunction.

In minor concussions, people generally have trouble thinking for a while, and they may be easily confused by simple things. There is also often some nausea, and people might have trouble keeping their balance, or they might even have vision abnormalities. A concussion is considered moderate if the person has trouble remembering what happened during the event, and if the person is knocked out, it is considered severe. A severe concussion will usually have all the same symptoms as moderate and minor concussions, but they may be worse.


Concussions can have dangerous consequences if left untreated. In some cases, the injuries to the brain can lead to swelling or bleeding that could be deadly. It is generally considered wise to watch people closely after they suffer any kind of concussion, and for more severe concussions, people are often put under medical observation for a while to make sure they don’t take a turn for the worse unexpectedly.

Less severe concussions can sometimes be treated with simple bed rest and avoidance of activity for a while. With a severe concussion, doctors will usually recommend some amount of time spent in a hospital. There are many cases where a concussion might be accompanied by other injuries, such as a cracked skull or some other physical injury that happened during the impact. Some of these might be more severe than the concussion itself or may increase the chance of the concussion leading to complications.

There are a lot of common ways that people commonly suffer a severe concussion. For example, it’s fairly common for people to get concussions when playing football or boxing or during car accidents. Many sports require people to wear head gear to protect against concussions, but these measures don’t necessarily stop the brain from moving inside the skull, so concussions still happen.


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