A head injury is an injury to the brain, skull and scalp in any way. This can sometimes go as far as a slight swelling and bruising, and sometimes a traumatic brain injury. Even a very light blow to the head can be very painful. The face and scalp are more sensitive than other parts of the body. Since there are a lot of blood vessels on the scalp, large amounts of bleeding can occur from a small cut. Even if a cut does not occur as a result of the impact, the blood collected under the skin can cause swelling at the impact site. This is not a dangerous condition and completely disappears in a week or two.
How Does a Head Injury Occur?
Brain damage, skull fractures and scalp injuries are common injuries. The results and treatments also vary depending on what caused the head injury and how severe the trauma is. Head injuries occur in open and closed forms. Closed head injuries are injuries in which the skull is not fractured. Open head injuries, on the other hand, mean that an object has crossed the skin, fractured the skull and entered the brain.
Head injuries are divided into two categories according to their causes. These are as follows:
1. Head injuries due to blows to the head
2. Head injuries caused by concussion (more common in infants and children. Occurs in severe tremors)
Head injuries due to blows are usually due to the following reasons:
* Motor vehicle accidents
* Physical attacks
* Sports injuries
In most cases, the skull will protect the brain from serious damage. However, injuries severe enough to cause a head injury can also be associated with spinal injuries.
Head Trauma in Infants
They say, ”Babies grow up dreaming." However, sometimes these falls can result in serious injuries. Moreover, these falls or household accidents can occur within a few minutes. The most terrible thing is that the baby will fall, as a result of which his head will hit somewhere. This is actually sometimes caused by a momentary inattention, and sometimes by the inability of babies and children to balance due to the fact that their heads are larger than their bodies. The most common causes of head trauma in children can be listed as follows:
* Slipping in the bathtub/bath
• Falling to the back
* Falling off the bed and table
* Falling after climbing on furniture or bench
* Falling from the cradle
* Stuck on carpet, rug or other objects on the floor
* Falling from stairs and steps
* Tripping and falling with the walker
* Falling off the swing
* Motor vehicle accidents
* Bicycle accidents
* Sports injuries
* Violence against children
Most childhood head injuries are caused by falls. At this point, the height at which the baby falls is important. Falling from a higher height can cause serious head injuries. First of all, in this case, calm should be maintained. Generally, no medical intervention is required for head injuries due to falls in children. The situations in which you need to contact the emergency regarding head injuries in infants are as follows:
* Uncontrolled bleeding of the incision
* Having a dent or swollen soft area in the skull
* Excessive bruising and/or swelling
* Vomiting more than once
* Unusual difficulty sleeping or staying awake
* Loss of consciousness, non-response to sound or touch
* Blood or fluid coming from the nose or ear
* Suspected spinal cord/neck injury
* Difficulty breathing
In case of any of these symptoms, urgent help should be sought without wasting time.
Visible Consequences of Head Injuries
The consequences of mild traumas are:
* Temporary ringing in the ears
Moderate and more severe traumas carry signs of mild trauma, while more serious damage may occur apart from them. Complications after more serious head trauma, on the other hand, are:
* Difficulty remembering the moment of the accident, before and after, memory loss
* Loss of consciousness and clouding of consciousness
* Drowsiness and inability to wake up
* Headache that worsens and is unresponsive to painkillers
* Seizures, sudden collapse or fainting
* Blurred or double vision
* Inability to focus with the eyes and abnormal eye movements
* Incipient hearing loss in one or both ears
* Difficulty in understanding and speaking
* Contractions or loss of strength in the arms or legs
* Loss of balance and coordination or difficulty walking
* Blood coming from the ear
* Transparent liquid coming from the ear or nose
* Mood changes
* Decreased interest in the environment for babies
If one or more of the above complaints occur after a blow to the head, the nearest medical institution should be contacted immediately.
Psychiatric Diseases that Can Develop After a Head Injury
It is claimed that some psychiatric illnesses are also caused by head injuries. Major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychotic disorders, such as diseases, as well as excessive alcohol use, irritability, and apathy that is effective in the formation of a state of studies of head injuries there are.
How Many Hours Does a Head Injury Become Apparent?
Symptoms of head injuries can be understood within a few hours after the accident or impact, or they can manifest themselves in a few days. After a head injury, the person should be well observed.
What to Do After a Head Injury
While waiting for medical attention after a head injury, the following interventions can be performed by people certified in first aid:
Keeping the person steady: The injured person should lie down with his head and shoulders slightly elevated. The person should not be moved unless necessary. The person's neck should definitely not be moved. If there has been a motor vehicle accident and there is a helmet, it should not be removed.
Bleeding should be stopped: Apply firm pressure to the wound with the help of a sterile gauze swab or a clean cloth. However, if you suspect a skull fracture, do not apply direct pressure.
Breathing and alertness should be observed: If the person shows no signs of circulation, that is, breathing, coughing, or movement, start life support.
Head injuries that have consequences such as changes in consciousness, headache, imbalance, nausea, difficulty concentrating are serious and should be evaluated by a doctor.
How is a Head Injury Diagnosed?
The emergency department physician questions the person about the type and severity of the accident, examines them and, if necessary, requests imaging procedures and keeps them under observation. The tests performed include blood tests, X-rays, computed tomography, electro Decephalography (EEG) and MRI.
Head Injury Treatment
If a long or deep incision has formed on the head, the wound may need to be sutured. Medications such as aspirin should not be taken as they will increase the bleeding of the wound. In the same way, strong painkillers should not be taken, as they can cause drowsiness and mislead you and the doctor. However, the following factors are important in determining treatment:
* Age, general health status and your medical history
* The size and type of head injury
* Tolerance to certain drugs and methods
* Expectations in the course of trauma
If a serious head injury is involved, it is important to monitor intracranial pressure. Trauma can cause swelling of the brain. This, in turn, can cause brain damage by increasing intracranial pressure.
Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may include:
* Topical antibiotic ointment and bandage
* Emergency medical intervention
* Suturing the incision area
* Use of medical breathing apparatus depending on the respiratory condition
After A Head Injury
* After a mild head injury, the headache may last for several hours, if there is swelling or bruising, it may take several weeks for them to heal completely.
• If the incision has been formed and sewn, dressing can be done on the 2nd day and stitches can be taken on the 7th day.
* You can take a bath 24 hours after the injury, unless your doctor indicates otherwise.