Alternate Names : Concussion, Injury to the Head, Closed Head Injury, Brain Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury
What are the treatments for the injury?
Most head injuries require some first aid. The following steps are important
when using first aid for a head injury:
The first thing to check is a person's airway and breathing. If
CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
Always consider a possible spinal cord
injury when there is an injury to the head, especially if the person is
unconscious. Support the head and neck, keep the head in line with the spine,
and prevent movement.
Try to stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.
If there is a possible skull fracture, do not place too much pressure on
the site of bleeding. Do not try to remove any objects from the wound. Cover
the wound with sterile gauze and get medical help immediately.
If the wound is not deep, wash it with soap and warm water and let it
If there is no suspected spinal cord
injury, try to turn the head of a
vomiting person to one side to prevent choking.
The emergency medical system should be
contacted at once if:
there is severe bleeding
there are many facial cuts
there is a change in the person's level of consciousness
the person is having trouble breathing
a spinal cord injury is
Some important safety measures include:
Avoid removing a helmet from a person who may have a serious head injury.
Leave the helmet in place and allow a healthcare professional to remove it.
Avoid washing a head wound that is very deep or bleeding heavily.
Refrain from removing any objects that are sticking out of a wound,
especially if they are going very deep into the wound.
Avoid moving the person unnecessarily. Avoid shaking the person if he or
she seems dazed or has a decreased level of consciousness. The person may have
a spinal cord injury. The spinal
cord may be further injured by movement.
Avoid picking up a child or any other person who has fallen and has signs
of a head injury.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
It is important to avoid worsening of a
spinal cord injury while treating the head injury. Significant airway
swelling caused by other injuries to the face is another problem. It is
important to keep checking the airway and the person's breathing.
What happens after treatment for the injury?
After treatment for a minor head injury, the person will generally be at home.
Follow-up care includes:
applying ice to areas of swelling
using over-the-counter pain
medication, such as acetaminophen, as needed.
Aspirin should be avoided
because it interferes with normal blood clotting.
following the healthcare provider's instructions about rest and vigorous
avoiding alcohol for at least 2
days after the head injury
reporting any new or worsening symptoms to the healthcare provider
Serious head injuries may require rehabilitation by a team of doctors, nurses,
physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and psychologists.