A quick way to diagnose the severity of concussions:

If a person is suspected to have a concussion, ask these types of questions, such as: What is your last name? What is your first name? How do you spell your name? Can you say the alphabet? What time is it? What is today's date? Do you know what happened to you?

Also, run one finger along the person's forearms, and ask him if he feels any tingling or any unusual sensations. Have him make a ring with his forefinger and thumb, and tell him not to let you break it. Try to break the ring. Ask him to follow your hand with his eyes without moving his or head.

To diagnose the severity of the concussion:

Grade 1: The lowest grade of concussion. The person is coherent, knows what happened, knows the date and time, can say the alphabet, etc. The person's pupils look normal, and he feels no unusual sensation upon being touched. Good musculoskeletal control remains, the person has good muscular resistance, as demonstrated in the finger ring test.

Grade 2: A more severe form of concussion that needs to be checked out by a doctor immediately. The person is confused, doesn't know what day it is, can't say the alphabet, has trouble saying/spelling his name, and has no idea what happened to him. His pupils are unequal in diameter or are dilated. Poor musculoskeletal resistance and unusual sensation. If any of these symptoms are present, ESPECIALLY the unusual pupils, the person needs to go to the emergency room immediately, as there may be swelling of the brain or bleeding in the cranium. Both of these can cause serious, life-threatening brain damage.

Grade 3: The most severe form of concussion, where the person is unconscious and cannot be roused within 4-5 minutes. The easiest to diagnose, and also the most dangerous, which can lead to a coma. Call an ambulance immediately, and do not move the person, as there may be spinal cord damage, especially if it is an athlete who had a collision with something/someone.

If the person has a Grade 1 concussion, simply have them ice the sore neck, but don't let them take any drugs such as aspirin, which is an anticoagulant, for at least 24 hours. Also, don't let the person go to sleep for at least 8 hours, and monitor them carefully for any behavior change, confusion, pupil change, etc. Wake the person up every 2 hours througout their sleep to check on them.

Grades 2 and 3 concussions will be taken care of by a doctor, who will have specific instructions.