Donate to Concussion Research, Patient Care and Education

A traumatic head injury that affects the brain’s functioning is called a concussion. Depending on the intensity of the injury, a concussion may be mild or severe, with symptoms that may last from a few hours to several months. Intense shaking of the upper body or head can result in concussion. More often, concussions are the result of sports injuries or falls. In addition to falls and sports injuries, car accidents and bicycle accidents contribute to a large number of concussions each year. Over two millions people will be diagnosed with concussions in 2019 with well over half of those being children between the ages of 8 and 18.

Thanks to your generous donations, board certified specialists at Northwestern Medicine are able to undertake research and clinical trials to advance diagnostic methods and treatment options for those suffering from concussions.

Depending on the severity of the concussion, symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, headaches (intense or mild), difficulties with coordination and balancing as well as difficulty remembering new information. Vomiting, slurred speech and nausea are signs of a more severe concussion. Each of these symptoms are grounds for seeking immediate medical attention. These symptoms may emerge immediately after an injury or take several days to manifest.  Athletes should never return to play after experiencing signs and symptoms of a concussion.

Specialists at Northwestern Medicine recommend wearing protective gear during sports activities, wearing seat belts while in automobiles, keeping a safe home and exercising regularly to maintain balance and equilibrium. Teams of physicians at Northwestern Medicine are equipped with a variety of diagnostic options for concussions. Neurological exams, cognitive testing and imaging are all used to diagnose concussions. When symptoms are severe, overnight hospitalization for observation may be required.

Bed rest is the number one treatment recommendation for severe concussions. Ice, topical ointments and stitches may be required for injuries that break the skin or cause excessive swelling. Should there be evidence of swelling of the brain, surgery or internal monitoring devices may be required. Physical, occupational or speech therapy may be recommended after swelling has subsided.

Concussion Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Consider making a gift to Northwestern Memorial Foundation to advance clinical trials and research aimed at increasing diagnostic and treatment options for those suffering from severe concussions.