Concussion during concert doesn’t keep Lady Gaga from performing
A hard knock on the head left Lady Gaga with a concussion in the middle of her Born This Way Ball performance in Auckland, New Zealand Sunday evening. But instead of ending the concert early to treat the head injury, Gaga told the crowd that the show must go on and pushed through to perform several more sets.
A number of videos uploaded to YouTube by concertgoers show one of the dancers moving a metal pole from the stage as Gaga bends down to pick up a prop machine gun during the song “Judas.” The pole strikes her on the head as she stands back up. Gaga staggers for a moment and rubs her head before leaving the stage for a few moments.
“I want to apologize,” she told the crowd when she reappeared. “I did hit my head and I think I may have a concussion but don’t you worry I will finish this show.” A makeup artist later tweeted that Gaga was recovering from a concussion and added, “Can’t believe she finished the show.”
Maybe she took pointers from fellow pop idol Justin Bieber, who received a concussion May 31 after he walked into a floor-to-ceiling glass window backstage at a concert in Paris. After the incident, Justin passed out for about 15 seconds as he was walking to his dressing room. Shortly afterward, he returned to the stage and finished out the concert.
The next day, the Justin posted a video in which he says the head injury affected the right side of his face.
“I can’t move my eyebrow,” the 18-year-old singer said in the video. “It’s the weirdest thing. Some weird stuff is going on.”
It’s possible that Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber don’t know that the worst thing one can do after receiving a concussion, even just a mild one, is to “return to the game” so to speak, but it’s just as likely the artists are that dedicated to their work and their adoring fans. Nevertheless, shaking off a concussion and returning to the stage may have been a great decision for business but could prove costly down the road.
Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries caused by blows, sharp jolts, and other such forces affecting the head that jar the brain and can cause sudden electrical and chemical changes in the brain, often causing the victims to “see stars.” Although concussions can vary in severity, part of the initial treatment is the same for all them: immediate and plentiful rest following the injury.
Moderate to severe concussions warrant an MRI or CT scan of the brain to check whether the patient is at risk of hemorrhaging or other serious injury. You may recall how Liam Neeson’s wife Natasha Richardson died shortly after a 2009 skiing accident in which she hit her head. Feeling ok and acting normal, Richardson chose to return to the hotel room for some rest rather than going to the hospital, but changed her mind a couple hours later after she developed a severe headache. Sadly, she arrived at the Canadian hospital in critical condition and died from an epidural hematoma the following day.
While the vast majority of traumatic brain injuries don’t result in fatal injury, they can still develop into permanent disability if ignored or improperly treated. People who receive multiple concussions throughout their lives, such as football players, hockey players, and boxers, are at a particularly high risk of developing permanent decline in cognitive functioning, emotional health, and other impairments as they age.
While it’s true that Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber aren’t at high risk of receiving multiple concussions in their line of work, just one untreated mild or moderate concussion is like making a deposit in the bank of future problems. If it happens again, call off the show. Your fans will eventually get over it but you may not.
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