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What is cerebral concussion?

Q: My friend met with an accident and injured her nose and forehead. She had stitches on her nose but no injuries were found on the forehead. After about 5 days, she had nausea and vomited every 10-15 minutes; she also had severe headache. Initially it was assumed that the reason for this was the strong antibiotics and other medications she was on, but the next morning the doctor said that this could be due to the hit she had on her forehead during the accident 5 days back. The doctor calls it cerebral concussion, in ordinary terminology swelling of the brain. Brain scanning is likely to be done today. If the result says it is cerebral concussion, will a surgery be needed or are drugs enough?

A:The medical term used by your doctor is likely to be Cerebral Concussion. In simple language this means that the brain was shaken up sharply during the accident. The abnormality is transient and corrects itself. The immediate and long-term outlook is good. The other likelihood is Contusion. Here, the brain is bruised. This takes longer to correct itself and some symptoms may persist for as long as three to six weeks. I suggest you wait till the scan findings are available. These will make the abnormality in the brain - if any - clearer. Your doctor will then guide you about further treatment.

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