Telluride Inside… and Out is proud to feature the Telluride Medical Center’s MEDICAL MOMENT, a weekly column that answers common medical questions in pop culture. Have a question for the doctors? Click here to send.

Laura Cattell answers this week’s question:


Laura A. Cattell, PA-C

Laura A. Cattell, PA-C

A concussion is defined by the American Academy of Neurology as a trauma induced alteration in mental status that may or may not involve a loss of consciousness. Bottom line concussions occur frequently, are the results of an injury to the head (falls are the most common) and many go unrecognized because there frequently is no loss of consciousness.

How do you know? The child’s behavior following a head trauma will help determine the extent of the injury.

Did the child cry immediately? If yes, there was no loss of consciousness.

Do they remember what happened, or what was going on before the fall? If no, there is amnesia (memory loss), it may be mild and is typical in a concussion.

Are they complaining of a headache? If yes, again another sign of a possible concussion, it may last for minutes to a few days.

Are they vomiting? If yes and it continues they need medical attention, if they are nauseated that is typical of a concussion or mild head injury.

When should you bring them to a medical facility?

If the child had a seizure

If the child has recurrent vomiting

If the child lost consciousness

If the child develops a severe headache that worsens over time
If there are changes in the child’s behavior, (extremely irritable, difficult to wake, lethargic)

If the child stumbles, has difficulty walking or has a lack of coordination

If the child is confused or has slurred speech

If the child has dizziness that persists

If you see blood or watery fluid from the nose or ears

If the child is younger then 6 months of age

If the child fell from a height greater then 5 feet, or was hit with great force or a high speed object

If you are concerned about how your child is acting.

Editor’s note: The Telluride Medical Center is the only 24-hour emergency facility within 65 miles. You can choose your own medical provider visit with a specialist or take advantage of their Mountain Skin Care services.  As a mountain town in a challenging, remote environment, a thriving medical center is vital to our community’s health. For more Medical Moments on TIO, Click Here.

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