Posted on September 12, 2011 · Posted in Brain Injury
“There is no such thing as a minor concussion.” – American Academy of Neurology.

The AAN defines concussion as a “alteration of mental status due to a biomechanical forces affecting the brain.” The AAN definition does not require a loss of consciousness. The AAN guidelines, break down concussion into three grades:

  • Grade 1:
    • Transient confusion;
    • NO loss of consciousness;
    • Concussion symptoms clear in less than 15 minutes.
  • Grade 2:
    • Transient confusion;
    • NO loss of consciousness;
    • Concussion symptoms or mental status abnormalities last longer than 15 minutes.
  • Grade 3:
    • Any loss of consciousness, either brief (seconds) or prolonged (minutes).

The AAN guidelines make it clear that permanent brain injury can occur with either Grade 2 or Grade 3 concussion. Thus, it is clear that subtle brain injury can have permanent consequences if the acute symptoms of the concussion continue for more than 15 minutes.

A major development in the arena of increasing awareness of the seriousness of all brain injury, has come with the American Academy of Neurology’s, (in conjunction with the Brain Injury Association) development of guidelines for the “Management of Concussion in Sports.”*

*Source: James P. Kelly, MD, and Jay H. Rosenberg, MD. “Diagnosis and management of concussion in sports”. ¬©Neurology. 1997. p 575-580.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447