A brain that has suffered an injury needs time to heal before it is put at risk. “Second impact syndrome,” or SIS, a potentially fatal swelling of the brain, can occur if a second head injury occurs too soon after the first.
While SIS is extremely rare, it can cause permanent neurologic damage.
Studies indicate that once a person suffers a concussion, they are more likely to suffer a second one. Research is inconclusive about why this is the case. It could be because people suffering a concussion during a sports activity are likely to return to that activity, putting themselves at risk for a second or even third concussion.
Post-concussion syndrome is more likely than SIS, according to Dr. Joel Brenner, Sports Medicine Medical Director, CHKD. He explains that post-concussion syndrome can occur with just one concussion. “It’s when symptoms of a concussion persist longer than a few weeks, which is the usual healing period of time,” says Dr. Brenner.
It’s important to remember that most people recover from a concussion with a two to four week period. Any concerns about recovery from concussion should be addressed promptly with your physician.