What is Head Trauma?
Trauma to the head makes reference to any injury that affects the brain and/or the skull. These injuries vary, and will usually range from the minor type of injuries to the serious complicated cases. There are two types of head injuries: closed injuries and penetrating injuries. A closed head injury is one which occurs when an individual has their head knocked against something blunt. Such injuries will often cause concussions. A penetrating injury on the other hand, differs from a closed injury because it occurs when an object pierces through the skull and accesses the brain tissue.
The material posted on this page on head and neck injuries is for learning purposes only. If you suspect that you or someone you know has a severe head injury contact EMS immediately. To learn how to recognize and manage head, neck and spinal injuries sign up for a first aid and CPR course with one of our providers.
What are Some of the Causes of Head Trauma?
- Motor accidents will often lead to head injuries.
- Accidents at the work place may result in head injuries.
- Sports injuries sometimes cause injury to the head.
- Physical assault is also known to cause head injury.
What are Some of the Symptoms of A Head Injury?
- Bleeding is perhaps one of the most common signs of a injury to the head. While this is rather obvious for penetrating head injury, it is not the case for closed head injury. This does not mean that it is absent in the latter as there is the likelihood of internal bleeding which could have dire consequences.
- Unconsciousness is also a characteristic of head injury, and the period an individual is unconscious varies depending on the nature of the injury.
- Bleeding or fluid discharge that originates from the nose.
- Loss of the following senses: smell, taste, vision and hearing.
- Paralysis, whether complete or partial.
- A noticeable change in one’s personality
What is the Treatment for Head Trauma?
When a patient has suffered mild head injury, the following are the steps that are required when giving first aid to them:
- Place ice cubes on the affected region in order to reduce the swelling.
- Take note that the size of the swelling does not necessarily indicate the extremity of the head injury, and for this reason, you must keep checking on the patient to see that there are no signs of bleeding.
In case the patient has suffered mild to severe head trauma, follow the following steps:
- Check to see that the patient is breathing normally, and if they are not, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- If the area is bleeding, place a clean cloth over the wound, and resist the urge to pull out any objects as this may cause more damage internally.
- To reduce damage to the spine, ensure that the head, neck and body are in proper alignment.
- If the patient is not conscious, it is advisable to treat that as a head and spinal injury. Consequently, do not allow the patient to be in motion to prevent causing more damage.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
If not addressed with immediate effect, injuries from head trauma often lead to chronic conditions and in some cases, death within a very short time. Since the causes of such injuries are common, it is advisable to learn the first aid steps of handling such.