Presentation of serious head injury

1. The same as concussion

May or may not lose consciousness. Dazed, “in a fog”, amnesia, poor concentration, nausea or pale.

2. Prolonged loss of consciousness

Although most Rugby players who are knocked out will be conscious again within about 30-40 seconds.

3. Seizures

Seizures or fits are generalised shaking of the whole body when unconscious. They are a sign of brain injury.

4. “Talk and die”

After sustaining a minor head injury and perhaps briefly losing consciousness, the player may return to almost normal. Some minutes later, they may suddenly collapse and lose consciousness again. This is due to the time lag for bleeding to accumulate after the initial impact and eventually compress the brain.

5. Panda eyes and bruising behind the ears

Fractures of the skull can produce bruising around the back of the ears or blood tracking down from the around the brain may produce two black eyes. However, these are late signs and are unlikely to be seen in the initial stages.