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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Diet and Fitness Head Injury

Head Injury

what are the signs of fatal head injury

Head Injury


Head injury is one of the most serious injuries of all. The reason for postulating this fact about head injury is the complications regarding the same. An intracranial bleed is one of the most common complications of a head injury which can result in serious morbidity or sometimes even death.

It is very essential for everyone to know how to assess a head injury as this helps to analyze and presume injuries which might result in a life threatening intracranial bleed.

Any head injury secondary to assault, road traffic accidents or any other mode has to first of all be assessed by a trained physician. The doctor will do a thorough clinical examination and if needed perform imaging studies to rule out any intracranial bleed at first contact. If any significant bleed is found, the interventions may be planned in co-ordination with a neurologist for its necessary management.

Even when the doctor has found no evidence to indicate that the head injury is serious at first contact, there is a pretty good chance of new symptoms and unexpected complications to develop hours or even days after the injury. The first 24 hours are the most crucial and the injured should remain with a reliable companion at least during this period.

After the doctor declares that there is no need for any emergency intervention after ascertaining that there is no intracranial bleed or any such complications, the burden on the patient and their attendee increases. Care should be taken not to miss or ignore any symptom presented by a late intracranial bleed.


When should you return immediately to the doctor?

Revisit the doctor if the patient develops any symptom like:

·       Worsening or new onset of headache not relieved by any pain killer

·       Vomiting, more than one episode

·       Convulsions or fits

·       Unusual sleepiness, drowsiness or the inability to wake up

·       Altered behavior

·       Fainting / passing out suddenly

·       Blurring of vision

·       Slurred or altered speech

·       Clear fluid or bleeding from the nostrils

·       Abnormal gait and imbalance

·       Weakness in the arms or legs


When is it not a matter of concern?

It is usually normal for the injured person to feel or experience the following symptoms over the next few days after the head injury.

·       Mild headache that is relieved by paracetamol taken orally

·       Nausea or lack of appetite, which can be relieved by drinking clear fluids and avoiding alcohol

·       Difficulty in concentration

·       Fatigue which can result in irritability or anxiousness

These symptoms usually would disappear over a span of one or two weeks. If they do not alleviate or persist for more than two weeks, you may have to seek medical help.


General Measures to Follow to Get Relief from Symptoms and Recover Quickly

·       Avoid medication containing aspirin without a doctor's supervision or suggestion

·       Avoid sedative medication or any pain killer other than the ones the doctor has suggested

·       Do not drive or operate any heavy machinery for 24 hours after the injury

·       If there is swelling at the injury site, apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth

·       Do not work on a computer or any brightly lit screen

·       Abstain from alcohol consumption for a minimum of 3 days post injury

·       Discontinue any contact sport activity for at least 3 weeks after the incident

·       Refrain from returning to college, school or work until one feels completely fine

·       Steer clear of any medication without a doctor’s opinion


Long Term Problems to Be Aware of in Case of a Head Injury

Most of the time, people recover quickly from the injury and experience no long term problems. However, it is necessary to visit the hospital when:

·       The patient is concerned about their fitness for driving or operating heavy machinery; this is especially related to professionals in relative fields

·       The patient develops new symptoms different from those occurred during or soon after the head injury

·       The patient experiences the same previous symptoms two weeks after the incident


Written by Dr. Raju A. T.