Signs and Symptoms of Concussion or Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?

Most people with a concussion have a good recovery from symptoms experienced at the time of the injury. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion.


Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:

Physical Emotional/
Difficulty thinking clearly Headache

Fuzzy or blurry vision

Irritability Sleeping more than usual
Feeling slowed down Nausea or vomiting
(early on)Dizziness
Sadness Sleep less than usual
Difficulty concentrating Sensitivity to noise or light

Balance problems

More emotional Trouble falling asleep
Difficulty remembering new information Feeling tired, having no energy Nervousness or anxiety

Some of these symptoms may appear right away, while others may not be noticed for days or months after the injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday life and more demands are placed upon them. Sometimes, people do not recognize or admit that they are having problems. Others may not understand their problems and how the symptoms they are experiencing are impacting their daily activities.

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the person with the concussion, family members, or doctors. People may look fine even though they are acting or feeling differently.

See Getting Better, for tips to help aid your recovery after a concussion.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Danger Signs in Adults

In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in a person with a concussion and crowd the brain against the skull. Contact your health care professional or emergency department right away if you have any of the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body:

  • Headache that gets worse and does not go away.
  • Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea.
  • Slurred speech.

The people checking on you should take you to an emergency department right away if you:

  • Look very drowsy or cannot be awakened.
  • Have one pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) larger than the other.
  • Have convulsions or seizures.
  • Cannot recognize people or places.
  • Are getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated.
  • Have unusual behavior.
  • Lose consciousness (a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously and the person should be carefully monitored).

Danger Signs in Children

Take your child to the emergency department right away if they received a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, and:

  • Have any of the danger signs for adults listed above.
  • Will not stop crying and cannot be consoled.
  • Will not nurse or eat.




Source: Signs and Symptoms | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center

Study: Nearly 2 Million Children in the US Suffer Sports-Related Concussions Every Year, Many Go Untreated

Nearly 2 million children in the United States suffer sports- and recreation-related concussions (SRRCs) annually, and many of them may go untreated, according to a recent study.

Concussions, a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), are common in children. Sports and recreation is a leading cause in minors 18 and younger, according to researchers.

Between 1.1 to 1.9 million SRRCs occur every year in children 18 and younger, researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Colorado say.

Three databases were used for the study that contained injury information reported to various healthcare settings, including emergency departments, inpatient and outpatient medical providers, and certified high school athletic trainers.

Source: Study: Nearly 2 Million Children in the US Suffer Sports-Related Concussions Every Year, Many Go Untreated

New Illinois law defines ‘stoned driving’ | Bleader | Chicago Reader

When Governor Bruce Rauner signed a new law decriminalizing marijuana possession Friday, Illinois became the 17th state to consider small possession a civil matter subject to a citation and a fine rather than a criminal offense.If you’re caught carrying more than 10 grams of marijuana (which, it seems in some photos, is a lot of marijuana), cops may issue tickets for $100 to $200. Chicago has had an ordinance decriminalizing pot possession of up to 15 grams since 2012.

Importantly, the law also stipulates that possession citations will be automatically expunged after six months.The new state statute also adds an important wrinkle to the legalization landscape by defining what it means to drive under the influence of marijuana. Drivers will be subject to DUI charges only if they have five or more nanograms of THC in their blood, or ten or more nanograms of THC in their saliva.

Source: New Illinois law defines ‘stoned driving’ | Bleader | Chicago Reader

When the Insurance Industry Covets Our Rights – HuffPo

In 1995, a part-time actuary for the Alabama Insurance Department achieved what the insurance industry had been trying to accomplish in state legislatures nationwide for years. With the simple stroke of a pen, Alabama became the first state in the nation to approve “forced arbitration” clauses in insurance policies, abolishing policyholders’ rights go to court against insurance companies or insurance agents for payment of their claims – even if the agent stole the policyholder’s money.

Incredibly, this was done behind the back of then Alabama Insurance Commissioner Mickey DeBellis, who did not find out about the practice for two years. He told the Multinational Monitor magazine in 1998 that when he finally saw the clause, “It was one of the worst I’d ever seen in my life. It took every right away from the policyholder. I blew my top.”


DeBellis immediately placed a moratorium on approval of mandatory binding arbitration clauses, but was quickly overruled by his boss, Governor [Fob] James.

“I’m sure there was pressure put on him by insurance companies,” says DeBellis.

Governor James instructed DeBellis to start approving these clauses, while issuing arbitration guidelines for insurers.

Instead, after 25 years with the Alabama insurance department, DeBellis resigned.

“Everybody’s entitled to their day in court, and binding arbitration takes that day away from you,” says DeBellis. “I did not feel it was in the best interest of the consumers in this state.”

To say the least. In forced arbitration systems, access to the courthouse door is blocked and all disputes must be resolved privately and secretly by the arbitration company chosen by the insurer. Arbitrators are not required to have any legal training. They may be biased. The discovery process, whereby parties obtain information from one another, is extremely limited. Arbitrators issue no written legal opinions, so no legal precedents or rules for future conduct can be established. And there is no right to appeal even though the arbitrator’s decision may be legally incorrect.

The Alabama arbitration rule was challenged in court and the late actor Christopher Reeve, who had been paralyzed in a horse-riding accident, filed an amicus brief. He said,

“One of the hardest things I have had to do since my disability is to deal with insurance companies. I found them to be callous and to try to set up any roadblocks they can to keep from paying legitimate claims. … I am totally against binding, mandatory arbitration in insurance policies.”

The attorney for those challenging the rule, Jere Beasley, eventually dismissed his lawsuit because, as he told me, the Alabama insurance department stopped approving arbitration clauses. Consumer advocates breathed a sigh of relief. But now, two decades later, consumer groups are “sounding the alarms” once again. This time, the focus is Texas.

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), which has long adhered to a policy of rejecting forced arbitration clauses in insurance policies, is thinking about changing its mind. Specifically, insurer Texas Farm Bureau has asked permission to stick forced arbitration clauses in homeowners policies, which homeowners must maintain as a condition of their mortgage. This particular proposal would include provisions that violate consumer protections found in other Texas laws and would impose a gag order on the arbitrator and both parties. Houston Chronicle business columnist, Chris Tomlinson, wrote,

The biggest problem with the Farm Bureau’s proposal is secrecy. That means no precedent-setting cases. Every consumer must start from scratch, work independently and possibly achieve wildly varying results. Consumers are also severely limited in what information they can request from the company during arbitration.

According to Alex Winslow, whose consumer group Texas Watch has been the leading voice against this proposal,

“What the Farm Bureau is asking … is to take disputes about insurance claims out of court, and push them into private, secret, arbitration proceedings where the industry has rigged the rules of the game…. This is just the latest in a long line of efforts to make it harder for people to get what they’re owed under the terms of their policy.”

The other real danger, notes Tomlinson, is that “Texas could set a national precedent in the coming weeks that would damage the rights of homeowners across the country.” He writes,

The Farm Bureau insists that its proposed clause is for its use only and will be optional. But if Mattax, who was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, approves the Farm Bureau’s clause, there is no reason why every home insurer in the state wouldn’t adopt it….

Once a precedent was set in Texas, the insurance companies would work to implement the clause in other states and in other lines of personal insurance, including auto.

This is why so many national consumer rights organizations have sent letters andcomments to the TDI asking it to reject the Farm Bureau’s request. One letter, signed by 11 national groups, concluded,

We understand that for many years, your agency has maintained a policy of rejecting form and endorsement changes that include pre-dispute binding arbitration. We encourage you to maintain that policy and reject this proposal in order to protect policyholders both in Texas and across our nation.

The right to trial by jury in civil cases is a fundamental right preserved in the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Let’s hope TDI doesn’t give the insurance industry the power to obliterate it.

Appeals panel: Dad can press lawsuit vs NIU fraternity over son’s hazing death 

An Illinois appeals court will allow a father whose son died after drinking too much alcohol during a fraternity’s initiation ritual, to resume his lawsuit against the Northern Illinois University fraternity, saying a Cook County judge erred in dismissing the wrongful death action against the local chapter and its leaders.

The Illinois First District Appellate Court took up the appeal of Gary L. Bogenberger, administrator of the estate of his son, David, who became drunk to the point of unconsciousness during a November 2012 event at the Eta Nu chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and subsequently died.

Source: Appeals panel: Dad can press lawsuit vs NIU fraternity chapter over son’s alcohol hazing death | Cook County Record

Dow Chemical Says Scalia’s Death Doomed Class-Action Challenge

The impact of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death is already being felt in major business litigation with news Friday that Dow Chemical is settling an antitrust class-action lawsuit in part because the company lost a likely ally on the high court. Dow will reportedly settle the price-fixing class action suit involving 6 different chemicals for a whopping $835 million.

“With the untimely, unfortunate death of Justice Scalia, it leaves in question the current structure of the court,” Dow Chemical spokeswoman Rachelle Schikorra told WSJ. “With this changing landscape, the unknowns, we just decided to put this behind us.”

Source: Dow Chemical Says Scalia’s Death Doomed Class-Action Challenge – Law Blog – WSJ

The Flint Water Crisis: Finding a Loophole in Sovereign Immunity 

Federal and state governments and employees engaged in their official duties are shielded from most private lawsuits by a legal doctrine known as sovereign immunity. The doctrine stems from the centuries-old principle that the government itself cannot commit a legal wrong, though exceptions have evolved.

While cities in the U.S. are not technically considered to have sovereign status, they are similarly protected by state and federal laws.

In Flint, experts and plaintiffs’ attorneys have expressed hesitation over lawsuits filed against state departments and officials, saying the chance of success will be hindered by the sovereign immunity doctrine. But one Plaintiff’s lawyer sees a loophole.

[Plaintiff’s attorney Michael Pitt] said he believes the attorneys have a solid legal theory that renders governmental immunity irrelevant. The federal lawsuit, he said, claims Governor Snyder along with several state officials, violated the due process of Flint residents.

“If there’s a constitutional violation, the governmental immunity does not apply,” Pitt said. “It just does not apply. So we’ve filed a case in federal court … alleging a due process violation that the state of Michigan and its agents created a dangerous condition, and that the state and its actors are liable for the damages caused by this constitutional violation.”

It will be interesting to see how this legal loophole theory plays out in Federal Court and the possible effect it will have on other cities, states or local governments facing decaying water pipes and crumbling infrastructure.

Source: Thousands of Flint residents could join ‘billion-dollar’ water crisis lawsuits | US news | The Guardian

Do Red Light Cameras Save Lives?

A Daily Herald analysis of 52 intersections across 29 suburbs shows. After cameras were installed, crashes involving injuries stayed the same or increased at nearly half the intersections where that data was reported.

Crashes considered hazardous increased at nearly one-third of intersections where that data was reported.

Truamatic Brain Injuries: Penn Team Furthers Understanding of How Concussion Can Cause Permanent Injury


Concussions are all too common in professional and college football. Doctors are now a step closer to understanding how concussions cause traumatic brain injuries and permanent damage to the brain. A University of Pennsylvania team has developed a new mathematical model to explain how permanent injury can happen in concussive contact situations.

Attorneys at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC Explain:

The model evaluates why axons, the connections that allow brain cells to communicate with each other, can be damaged by a sudden force, even though they are understood to be quite elastic. The researchers note that “microtubules” run down the length of the axons in bundles, linked by a protein known as “tau.”  The link between the tau proteins and the microtubules is, however, not permanent – the proteins bind and unbind every few seconds, allowing the microtubules to slide relative to one another without damage and enabling the axon to stretch up to twice its original length. A rapid jolt –a concussive force – does not allow this process to take place. “When you pull [the microtubules] very fast, that bond doesn’t break and the forces get exerted on the microtubule itself. That’s what’s causing the damage in a traumatic brain injury.”

As the researchers note, an interesting aspect of this model is that it shows the tau protein as the center of axon damage in concussion. Aggregation of tau protein is the signature of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, (CTE) the neurodegenerative condition found in some athletes with multiple head traumas.

Read more at Penn Team Furthers Understanding of How Concussion Can Cause Permanent Injury | Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC – JDSupra.