Head Injuries And
Now, most people realize that the brain
is an incredible organ, and that it is very delicate, and
although it has the protection of the bony skull, this does not
give the head adequate protection form many of today's
accidents, especially motor vehicle accidents. A sudden blow to
the head can cause an incredible number of health problems, as
the brain is responsible for so many different things that go
on in the body. Even when there are no visible signs of injury
to the head or face, brain damage can still have
two kinds of head injuries, namely closed head injuries, and
open head injuries. Open head injuries are the more obvious of
the two, since there is obvious bleeding and a piercing of the
skull by some object (maybe a rock or a stick, or these days
possibly even a bullet), thus damaging the brain tissue inside
the skull. A closed head injury occurs when there is damage to
the brain, but there is no penetration of the skull, so no
signs of external injury. These kinds of injuries are often
more serious, since the amount of damage cannot be evaluated
right at the start.
head is knocked or bumped, it causes the brain to crush against
the sides of the skull, causing bruising, which in turn may
lead to significant swelling of the brain. This in turn causes
pressure in the brain which causes headaches of different
intensities. In some cases it is necessary to operate to lessen
the pressure in the skull, thus removing some of the
So, if a
head injury occurs, what do you do? First of all, professional
medical help is always advised for head injuries, since the
amount of damage may not be known for some time, so try to get
emergency personnel to the injury site as soon as possible. Be
aware that the head bleeds easily, and the amount of blood does
not indicate the severity of the injury. Check whether the
person is conscious, or confused. Make sure the patient is
breathing. If possible, it is advisable not to move the
patient, especially if there is likely neck damage, as moving
could make the patient worse.
if the person is not breathing, check for a pulse, at the
wrist, or carefully at the neck. If there is a pulse, then you
can start mouth to mouth resuscitation to restart their
breathing. If there is no pulse, then cardiac compression is
needed to be alternated with mouth to mouth.
worth noting that first aid training is still changing, and a
recent report suggested that doing both mouth to mouth and
cardiac compression was not the way to go, so if at all
possible, take a first aid course so that you are taught the
correct information. They are not very expensive, and just
might save someone's life.
skull is deformed by the accident, either compressed or
swollen, then this is a sign that the skull is fractured.
Similarly if there is clear fluid leaking from the ears or
nose, then the skull has been fractured. In this case, the ear
should be gently covered and the person turned to that side.
This should stop any dirt getting into the skull. Should there
be bleeding, then pressure should be applied to the wound to
slow and stop the bleeding.
the most common symptom of a head injury is nausea, so it is
important to make sure the patient has a clear airway, is in
fact breathing, and that if at all possible they are on their
side to reduce the chance of choking.