The 6 Concussion Essentials Your First Aid Kit is Missing
Almost everybody has a first aid kit for life’s little emergencies—the scraped knees, sprained ankles, or painful insect stings that happen when you least expect it. Most of them contain the typical bandages, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, and tweezers. But do you have anything in your first aid kit to deal with concussions or other head injuries? And would you even know what to put in it? And what about school sports teams? Isn’t it time they stock their first aid kits with the must-have items that can accelerate the healing process after a concussion?
The Emergency Kit Every Family and Sports Team Should Have
I’m a psychiatrist who has seen far too many patients with long-lasting symptoms—including “psychiatric” symptoms like anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, anger, substance abuse, dementia, and suicidal thoughts—related to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). I’m shocked that we’re all so well-prepared to take care of minor cuts, burns, and bruises, but we’re so ill-prepared to minimize the damage from injury to our greatest asset—the human brain.
Because I understand how devastating and life-changing head trauma can be, I always carry a TBI first aid kit with me on hikes and bike rides or keep one stashed in my car just in case. My goal isn’t to replace 911 or emergency medical care, but rather to do immediate preventative care while waiting for trained EMTs to arrive.
I recommend that you keep a concussion first aid kit on hand, and I urge every school sports team (including cheerleading and dance squads) and every professional sports team to make it standard practice to have one.
I’m providing a handy chart below to help you know what to include in the kit. And if you’re wondering if it’s a hassle carrying such a kit on a hike or bike ride, let me put you at ease. This TBI first aid kit is designed to be portable and to do the most good for your brain in the shortest amount of time.
The 6 Essentials of a Concussion First Aid Kit
Your TBI emergency kit should include 6 important nutrients that accelerate the healing process and increase the likelihood of recovery if the head is rattled or injured. They include potent antioxidants and other nutrients that aid with brain protection and cell repair that will ameliorate some of the cell death and inflammation that starts almost immediately following a concussion.
Here is what you should include in your kit, along with basic information about timing and dosage. Make a copy of the following list and keep it in your kit at all times so you don’t have to have to try to recall all the information from memory during an emergency.
Remember, this first aid kit does not in any way take the place of emergency medical care.
TBI First Aid Kit
8 NAC (500 mg/cap)—Recommended dosage is 50mg for every kilogram of body weight—this dosage is based on a 175lb person
2 curcumin (500 mg/cap)
2 vitamin C (1000mg/cap)
2 vitamin D (5000mg/cap)
1 TBSP MCT oil powder or 6 caps
1 TBSP flavored branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) powder
Place all the supplements—NAC, curcumin, vitamin C, and vitamin D—in a small sealed baggie or an empty vitamin bottle. In a separate sealed baggie, measure out 1 tablespoon of the MCT oil powder (or 6 caps) and 1 tablespoon of flavored BCAA powder. Some companies make premixed MCT oil/BCAA powder in convenient packets.
In case of a head injury, take everything in the kit immediately, ideally within 1-3 hours, but no later than 24 hours after the injury. Be sure to mix the MCT oil powder and BCAA powder into 8-10 ounces of water. The kit relies on the injured party’s ability to swallow supplements, which can be problematic for young children, but even kids can take the MCT and BCAA powders when mixed with water.
The idea is to use these ingredients in addition to getting a thorough check-up to make sure that nothing serious, such as a brain bleed or skull fracture, has occurred. Remember, loss of consciousness is not required for a serious injury to the brain. Taking immediate action with a TBI first aid kit may help you avoid a future of debilitating fatigue, depression, anger, and a higher risk of dementia.
At-Home Follow-Up Care
In addition to the emergency kit, you should also have a home TBI first aid kit that includes an adequate supply of supplements to take for at least one week. In my book, Concussion Rescue, I share which supplements to include and the recommended dosages for your at-home kit.
If you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms that may be related to a concussion or TBI, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the nutrients your brain needs for healing and supplements can be an important part of an effective treatment plan. If you want to join the thousands of people who have already healed from TBIs with the Amen Clinics Concussion Rescue Program, speak to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.