A patient has been diagnosed with a concussion and is now being released from the hospital. Which of the following should the nurse include in the discharge instructions?

Call the healthcare provider if repeated episodes of vomiting occur.

Explanation

• A concussion is caused by trauma to the head. It is a transient and reversible neuronal dysfunction marked by instantaneous loss of awareness and responsiveness. The loss of awareness can persist for moments to hours.

• Vomiting may be a symptom of increasing intracranial pressure and must be reported to the health-care provider. Unusual sleepiness, lethargy, decreased motor functions, ataxia, slurred speech, inability to concentrate, and/or foggy thinking should also be reported to the provider.

• Incorrect: The patient does not need to avoid OTC analgesics. Headaches can be treated with acetaminophen, but sedating drugs are generally withheld so that an accurate neurological assessment can be done.

• Incorrect: The patient does not need to maintain a clear liquid diet. There are no dietary restrictions for the patient with a concussion.

• Incorrect: Patients may or may not have a headache with a concussion. If a headache develops the patient should rest. Darkened rooms are preferred over well-lit rooms to treat a headache.

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