Duration Health — Field Guide: Concussion

Concussion and Head Injury


Trauma to the head and traumatic brain injury (TBI) occur due to a direct blow, strike or jolt to the head and include injuries ranging from simple scalp lacerations (cuts) or abrasions (scrapes), to concussions, skull fractures, or severe swelling or bleeding in the brain. Lacerations and skin wounds are discussed later in the guide. In mild TBI, there is generally no loss of consciousness and often a mild headache. In moderate TBI, there may be transient loss of consciousness, temporary blurred vision, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and transient amnesia or confusion. More severe traumatic injury to the brain can cause bleeding in the brain or skull fractures, leading to prolonged loss of consciousness, severe headache, protracted vomiting, lowered heart rate or erratic breathing, decreased responsiveness or coma.

A mild or moderate traumatic brain injury, where trauma to the head results in a temporary change in brain function, is sometimes called a concussion.


For moderate and severe head trauma and brain injury, you must seek medical attention immediately as severe TBI is a life-threatening condition that can cause rapid deterioration and death. Any trauma to the brain that causes swelling or bleeding will increase the pressure inside the skull and can be fatal quickly. In these cases, immobilize the patient's spine and immediately evacuate the patient to the nearest medical care.

Mild head injuries with no loss of consciousness and only mild headache are usually not serious or life-threatening and the headache can be treated with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. After mild head injury precautions should be taken to prevent a second traumatic injury to the brain, as this can compound symptoms and cause worsening of concussion.

Some head injuries that initially seem minor can cause slow bleeding in the brain that causes deterioration and death hours later. Therefore, someone who experiences a mild or moderate head injury should be observed for at least 24 hours for any change in behavior. If you are traveling alone and experience a head injury but decide not to seek medical attention, you should still seek out other people who could call for help if you get worse.

In someone who has had a mild head injury without loss of consciousness and has been behaving normally for many hours, it is generally not necessary to awaken them during the night to check on them.

When To Worry

Seek immediate medical care after a head injury if you have any of the following:

  • headache that is severe or worsens over time
  • deterioration in mental status
  • seizures or convulsions
  • persistent vomiting
  • clear fluid draining from the nose (could indicate leakage of cerebrospinal fluid)
  • bruising behind the ears or around the eyes when that was not the site of injury (could indicate bleeding in the brain)


Quick Guide

If you have

  • A head injury without loss of consciousness and
    • mild headache
    • mild nausea
    • mild dizziness
    • mild sensitivity to light and sound

You may have

a concussion

Rest, and prevent a second injury


ibuprofen (generic for Motrin®) 400 mg every 6 hours as needed for pain


acetaminophen (generic for Tylenol®) 650 mg every 6-8 hours as needed forpain (do not exceed 3000 mg per day)


ondansetron 4 mg every 6 hours as needed for nausea



For children age 17 and under

ibuprofen 10 mg/kg every 6 hours as needed; maximum 400 mg per dose

acetaminophen 15 mg/kg every 6 hours as needed; maximum 500 mg per dose

ondansetron (generic for Zofran®) 4 mg every 6 hours as needed; can be used in children over the age of 4

See also: Pediatrics

If you have

  • a head injury with loss of consciousness AND
    • a seizure or convulsions
    • severe headache
    • vomiting
    • vision changes
    • a change in mental status
    • signs of a skull fracture such as clear fluid from the ears or nose or bruising around the eyes and ears

Seek emergency medical care


Learn What To Do In a Medical Emergency

Get the Duration Health Field Guide, plus access to our free email series, Where There is No Doctor. We’ll teach you how to treat the most common medical issues, anywhere.

Serving travelers since 2019 and preppers since 2020

Duration Health, Inc.
[email protected]
2550 Pacific Avenue, Suite 705
Dallas, TX 75226
(855) 340-8969

Privacy Policy
Notice of Privacy Practices
Terms and Conditions
© 2023 Duration Health

Become a Brand Ambassador 🚀
We're hiring!

How to approach Concussion and Head Injury Only your Duration Health provider can decide, based on your medical history and other factors, whether it is medically appropriate for you to receive prescriptions. We do not sell prefabricated bags of pharmaceuticals. Each Duration Health Med Kit that contains prescription medications is custom assembled, tailored to each individual patient's needs.

Duration Health is not a pharmacy, is not a nonprescription retailer, and does not sell medications directly. To be able to deliver a customized kit of medications, Duration Health has partnered with a third-party mail order pharmacy. You may request that any prescriptions be sent to an alternate pharmacy. Duration Health charges an administrative convenience fee for its services, but Duration Health does not sell prescription or over-the-counter ("OTC") drugs, mark-up the cost of prescription or OTC drugs, or retain any portion of the fees our affiliated pharmacy charges to you. Nor does Duration Health provide medical advice about or prescribe OTC medications. In states where Duration Health’s physician consultation services are not offered, Duration Health only offers OTC products and does not provide clients with access to obtain a physician consultation. Clients are free to purchase OTC medications of their choice as an OTC-only kit.

You must complete the included online telehealth visit, including a complete medical history and ID verification, before any prescriptions are issued. You may not be eligible to receive items pictured or described on this site. Furthermore, renewal of your prescriptions is contingent upon continued medical appropriateness. Generics only. Brand names are listed on our site for your reference, but in most cases, only generic (non-brand) medications are included in our Med Kits. No controlled substances. Our formulary excludes controlled substances like opioids, benzodiazepines, and other potentially addictive medications. Treatment not guaranteed. No medication is guaranteed to work or guaranteed to treat a particular condition or disease. Use medications only as directed by a physician. Medication uses listed on this site are for educational purposes only and are not intended to represent indications for treatment. Email support only. Our providers are available via email to answer questions about your Med Kit. For non-emergency use only. In an emergency, call 911 or seek local emergency care. No routine care. Duration Health email support cannot be used for routine primary care. Medications prescribed by Duration Health cannot be used for routine purposes. This product is intended only for people who are unable to obtain regular medical care. You must anticipate living, working or traveling where care is unavailable. As a condition of purchase, you must consent to use of these medications only when regular access to medical care is unavailable. Your eligibility for Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) payment and reimbursement is not guaranteed; consult with your health plan, a qualified accountant, or a tax professional to determine your eligibility for reimbursement. Duration Health does not provide or claim to provide any medication or other item to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19.

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately.

We maintain partnerships with various publishers and content creators to promote our products and services. These partners may receive payments as a result of your actions on our website, including, but not limited to, clicking on links, creating an account, or signing up for newsletters or other promotional materials. The compensation we provide to our partners may influence the content, topics, or posts featured on our website, but it does not affect the quality, integrity, or accuracy of the information provided.

The testimonials featured on our website are provided by real customers who have purchased our products and services. These testimonials are based on their personal experiences and opinions. It is important to note that your experience with our products or services may differ from the experiences and opinions expressed in the testimonials. You may not achieve similar results or experiences as those described in the testimonials.

See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Privacy Policy, Notice of Privacy Practices and Terms and Conditions for more important disclaimers.