- injury to the head
- closed head injury
- brain injury
- traumatic brain injury
What are the causes and risks of the injury?
- ice hockey
- almost any other contact sport
- an altered mental state as a result of drugs or disease
- difficulty walking because of
arthritis, leg injury, or neuromuscular disease weakness
- loss of balance or poor coordination from
What can be done to prevent the injury?
How is the injury recognized?
What are the treatments for the injury?
- The first thing to check is a person's airway and breathing. If necessary, begin
CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, right away.
- Always consider a possible
spinal cord injurywhen 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
woundwith 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 dry.
- If there is no suspected
spinal cord injury, try to turn the head of a vomitingperson to one side to prevent choking.
- 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
spinal cord injuryis suspected
- 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?
What happens after treatment for the injury?
- 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 professional'sinstructions about rest and vigorous activity
alcoholfor at least 2 days after the head injury
- reporting any new or worsening symptoms to the healthcare professional