To be knocked out means to lose consciousness or pass out, usually due to a blow or series of blows to the head. A knockout (KO) in boxing occurs when a fighter goes down because of blows (to the head or body) by the opponent and the fighter does not get up within the allotted time. In Judo or Mixed Martial Arts, a knockout may also occur when the blood flow to the brain is cutoff by using a chokehold that presses on the carotid arteries. Most fighting arts also have a technical knockout (TKO) that occurs when a fighter is unable or unwilling to continue or when the referee stops the fight to protect a fighter from further injury. This topic will deal with a knockout due to a loss of consciousness from a blow to the head.
The brain is composed mostly of a soft fat similar to gelatin, so, for protection, it is incased in the skull. Most brain injuries due to fighting are closed head injuries where a blow to the head jars or fractures the skull without opening it and injuries the brain.
A blow to the head that stuns a person is but usually does not result in a loss of consciousness is a closed head injury called a concussion. A concussion may cause temporary headaches or blurred vision but it is generally not serious. The severity of a closed head injury is measured by the duration of the loss of consciousness.
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