From Children of StarClan

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein is in relation to a role playing game based on a fictional book series. None of the information provided herein should be used to treat yourself or your pets. Please consult someone trained in first aid, Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, or another appropriate professional before attempting to treat a living creature.
Complaint: Concussion
Human Equivalent: Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Head wound, Post Concussion Syndrome. Postconcussive Syndrome, "shell shock", "Black out" / "Blackout"
Description: A concussion is a brain injury usually caused by a jarring impact to the head; occasionally, a concussion can result from a violent shaking of the upper body, particularly of the neck. The type and severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the injury. These symptoms can include: pain; headache; fatigue; anxiety; weakness; disorientation; inflammation; bleeding; nausea and/or vomiting; temperament shift; problems with vision, hearing, speech, balance, sleep, appetite and/or memory; convulsions, and unconsciousness.
Note: Use of the Glasglow Coma Scale is used throughout the human world when a person wants to judge the severity of another's brain injury. The three categories of measurement: Motor, Verbal, and Eye Opening Responses, can be understood and used by clan cats. The patient's best responses (one of each category type) are used in this regard. It is recommended that users look up the Glasglow Coma Scale themselves.
The severity levels reflect the following:
Mild: Patient is able to understand commands (Move such and such, Open your eyes, Tell me such and such) and a visible and mostly (if not fully) effective response is observed. All categories may be slightly effected by the concussion; one or two responses may be normal, with damage limited to (a) different specific area(s). The patient did not "blackout".
Moderate: Patient's responses are confused or improperly functioning. More than one category is clearly effected. Usually the victim was knocked unconscious by the impact. Worst case scenario for moderate cases is that the duration of the "blackout" lasts up to 9 minutes. Anything more is considered severe.
Severe: All response categories are effected; some might be more so than others. If any category has NO response AT ALL, the concussion is determined severe. The patient is very confused and cannot function normally. There was a blackout after the impact; these lapses of consciousness (for severe cases) may last anywhere from less than a second to more than 9 minutes; even if a cat was unconscious for a short period, remember that if they cannot respond AT ALL for one or more category, then their case is deemed severe. The patient may lapse into a coma.
Duration: Mild: Patient should recover within 3 days, though they can recover in an hour or less.
Moderate: Patient is expected to have fully recovered between 3 days and 3 moons.
Severe: Duration exceeds 3 moons.
Treatment: Mild:
  • Test patient's reaction in three categories: Motor, Verbal, and Eye Opening.
  • If skin is broken at contact site on the head, treat as one would an Abrasion.
  • If cold, clean water is available, douse the contact site in it for at least 30 minutes to reduce swelling.
  • Apply a poultice of herbs on contact site to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Have patient drink plenty of water.
  • If, after application of the poultice, the patient is still in discomfort, orally give painkillers.
  • If patient is unduly anxious and upset, give soothing herbs such as the leaves of chamomile or thyme.
  • Patient must rest in a quiet, dim place, as noise and bright light can aggravate symptoms. Observe patient for the appearance of more symptoms; some symptoms do not become apparent immediately, but rather appear after a time. Test for problems with balance, memory, sight, hearing, taste, smell, and speech.
  • If patient has difficulty sleeping, consumption of thyme leaves or poppy seeds can aid in bringing rest.
  • In case of headache, apply damp bandage (such as Kit's Ear) to skull.
  • In case of nausea, treat with herbs that settle the stomach.
  • Caution against sudden movement; too much can further injure the brain.
Moderate: As above with mild case. Re-apply poultice to the contact site for reducing pain and inflammation. If needed, give more painkillers and/or give herbs for soothing anxiety and bringing rest.
Severe: As patient may be incoherent or even unconscious, medicine cats must use their best judgment as to what to treat, and with what herbs. Treat as with moderate case, with following accommodations:
  • If patient is vomiting, place them someplace the vomit can be easily disposed of and cleaned.
  • Sudden movements are very dangerous. Cushion the skull and neck.
  • Top priority is to keep patient still and in a peaceful spot isolated from noise and too much light.
  • If patient lapses into a coma, s/he may be kept alive with prey blood, though after a day in a coma, survival is doubtful.
Residual Effects: Mild: For as long as symptoms are present, patients should have a peaceful place to rest and drink under the medicine cat's observation. If, immediately after treatment, patients shows no symptoms, they may return to light duty as soon as poultice has dried. Have them come to follow-up check-ups at least once a day for the next 3 days to ensure that no more ill effects are felt.
Moderate: Less severe effects (see severe case) are possible. Whether such effects are temporary depends on the force of the blow to the head and the quality/timeliness of treatment for ensuing concussion.
Severe: Permanent effects are expected, whether personality change, slowing of reflexes, or other impairments. Blindness may result. Memory trouble and/or intelligence decline are among some potential mental effects.
Possible Complications: Mild: Potential infection if skin was broken at contact site.
Moderate: Potential infection if skin was broken at contact site.
Severe: Potential infection if skin was broken at contact site.

Permanence of effects are expected.

Notes: This ailment has a chance of fatality. Even if the patient survives, a permanent change - physical and/or physiological - can remain. The more time a patient is unconscious, the less likely s/he will survive. Moreover, if an incompletely-healed brain is damaged by another concussion, the probability increases. Another ill-boding sign is if the patient starts vomiting right after the injury.
Related Herbs: Water Mint,  Catnip,  Chamomile,  Lavender,  Poppy,  Thyme,  Feverfew,  Willow,  Water Dock,  Apple,  Rosemary,  Hawthorn,  Caraway,  Ginger,  Raspberry,  Dandelion
Related Symptoms: Loss of Appetite,  Convulsions,  Coma,  Irregular heartbeat,  Nausea,  Vomiting,  Sleeplessness,  Severe Pain,  Inflammation,  Weakness,  Bruise,  Pain,  Fever,  Anxiety,  Blurry Vision