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A car accident can be a traumatic event. However, in the absence of obvious physical injuries, many accident victims will declare themselves to be fine after a crash, and refuse medical treatment. A head injury may not be immediately evident, especially a concussion. Some first responders in Ontario are being educated on what to look for when assessing injured persons at a crash scene.

A spokesperson for the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre says that many people don't want to go to a hospital, and in the absence of a doctor or nurse to make a diagnosis, police officers and emergency workers have no choice but to let people go. Concussion symptoms may develop over time, however. The OIPRC's new program is helping to educate first responders on what to look for so that they can offer advice to victims. 

Cards will be distributed to people who have been in an accident, alerting them to the signs of a concussion. Symptoms may include seizures, vomiting, blackouts or loss of consciousness, slurring of speech and bleeding from the ears or nose. Non-physical indicators are anxiety, depression and uncharacteristic moods swings or changes in personality.

It is important to undergo an exam by a medical professional after an accident in order to be certain of one's health. Many conditions, including a head injury, may go unrecognized without a doctor or nurse's assessment. Another good idea is contacting a personal injury lawyer to discuss the accident. It may be possible to seek damages and compensation to help with recovery.

Source: mynorthbaynow.com, "Concussion Awareness Campaign launched in North Bay", Aaron Mahoney, March 8, 2017

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