Head Injury: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Head Injury: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

May 01, 2021

A head injury can be described as any type of damage to a person’s scalp, skull, brain, underlying blood vessels, and tissue. A head injury that breaks the patient’s skull is referred to as a closed head injury. An injury that breaks the scalp and skull and gets into the brain is called an open head injury. Slight head injuries are not life-threatening, but severe head injuries may lead to mental impairment, permanent disability, and death. Head injuries can be treated at an ER near you.

6 Types of Head Injury

  • Hemorrhage

After a trauma to the head, there may be uncontrolled bleeding known as a hemorrhage. Intracerebral hemorrhage is bleeding within the brain tissue. Bleeding around the brain is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. It causes pressure build-up leading to severe damage to the brain cells.

  • Diffuse Axonal Injury

This is an injury to the brain that is severe but not visible on the outside. There is no bleeding, but the brain cells are damaged, making them unable to function. This type of head injury may cause permanent brain damage and death.

  • Intracranial Hematoma

When you suffer an injury to the head, a blood clot may form inside or around the brain. This clot causes pressure build-up inside the skull and can lead to unconsciousness or permanent damage to the brain.

  • Skull Fractures

A skull lacks bone marrow, which would absorb the impact of a blow to the head. The patient’s skull bone may break due to trauma on the head, causing damage to the brain.

  • Concussions

This is a severe injury to the patient’s head that causes instant loss of awareness or alertness. This temporary state may last for a few minutes or hours. If a patient suffers concussions repeatedly, permanent damage may occur.

  • Edema

This is swelling of the tissues surrounding an injury to the head. Edema is fatal when it takes place in the brain as the skull is unable to stretch and contain the swelling. Pressure build-up causes the brain to press against the patient’s skull.

  • Causes of Head Injury
  • Violent shaking, especially in infants
  • Sports-related accidents
  • Violent activities or physical assaults
  • Falling and hitting the head severely
  • Motor vehicles, motorcycles, and automobiles accidents
  • Using blood thinners
  • High-blood pressure that lasts for a long time

Signs and Symptoms of Head Injury

Visit an emergency room near you if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fuzzy or double vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness
  • Swelling
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Stiff neck
  • Memory loss
  • Convulsions
  • Nausea
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Light or noise sensitivity
  • Low rate of breathing
  • Clear or bloody fluid oozing from the patient’s mouth, ears, or nose
  • Impaired; vision, hearing, and sense of smell and taste

Diagnosis and Treatment of Head Injury

Any trauma to the head should be attended to immediately, especially if any of the symptoms above are present. Emergency care in Abilene offers 24-hour head injury treatment. Immediate medical attention lessens the chances of a permanent disability and death. The patient should only be moved by trained medical personnel as motion may worsen the damage.

  • At an emergency room for a head injury, the doctor diagnoses the damage by a 15-point test called a Glasgow Coma Scale. This test assesses the patient’s mental status.
  • Signs of trauma like swelling and bruising are searched for in the patient. The doctor may perform a neurological exam to evaluate your nerve function.
  • An MRI or a CT scan is taken to enable a detailed examination of the head injury by the doctor. These imaging tests assist the doctor in looking for swelling in the brain, bleeding and blood clots, and other damages to the brain.
  • If the patient has minor injuries to the head, pain medication is prescribed. An open cut is sutured or stapled to close it and bandaged to prevent infection.

Head Injuries Treatment at Emergency Rooms in Abilene

Severe head injuries at Express Emergency Rooms in Abilene are treated through:

  • Surgery

Emergency surgery is normally performed to remove a blood clot, release pressure in the skull, or repair the skull. This aims at preventing more damage to the brain.

  • Medication

Severe brain injury causes seizures in the patient even weeks after the trauma. The doctor prescribes medication to prevent seizures. Medication that causes the brain to release fluids and relieve pressure build-up in the brain is given. For severe injuries, medication is used to induce the patient into a coma. This enables the injury to heal.

  • Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation may be needed so that the patient regains full brain function like speech and mobility.

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