Concussion Grades

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There is no standard classification system for concussions. Four of the leading researchers in head injuries maintain their own classification system. The symptoms of each degree of concussion are often very similar, and one can be confused when accessing a head injury.

Concussions can be divided into five grades, 0 thru 4. Grade 0 results when the head is struck or moved rapidly. It is characterized by a post injury headache and difficulty with concentration. The athlete may not notice any other symptoms. Grade 1 concussions occur in the same manner but the athlete may appear stunned or dazed. There is no loss of consciousness (LOC), and sensory difficulties clear in less than one minute. Grade 1 concussions are the typical “I got my bell rung” description from the athlete.

Grade 2 concussions are characterized by headache, cloudy senses lasting longer than one minute, and no LOC. The athlete may have other symptoms including, tinnitus, amnesia, irritability, confusion, or dizziness. One, all or none of these symptoms could be present.

Grade 3 concussions are characterized by LOC of less than one minute, the athlete will not be comatose, and exhibit the same symptoms as a grade 2 concussion. Grade 4 concussions are characterized by LOC of greater than one minute. The athlete will not be comatose, and will also exhibit the symptoms of the grade 2 and 3 concussions.

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©2000 - 2009 David Edell

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Last Update for AthleticAdvisor.com: 10/24/2009 12:09:35 AM