Head injury - first aid

Brain injury; Head trauma

A head injury is any trauma to the scalp, skull, or brain. The injury may be only a minor bump on the skull or a serious brain injury.

Head injury can be either closed or open (penetrating).

  • A closed head injury means you received a hard blow to the head from striking an object, but the object did not break the skull.
  • An open, or penetrating, head injury means you were hit with an object that broke the skull and entered the brain. This is more likely to happen when you move at high speed, such as going through the windshield during a car accident. It can also happen from a gunshot to the head.

Head injuries include:

  • Concussion, in which the brain is shaken, is the most common type of traumatic brain injury.
  • Scalp wounds.
  • Skull fractures.

Head injuries may cause bleeding:

Head injury is a common reason for an emergency room visit. A large number of people who suffer head injuries are children. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for over 1 in 6 injury-related hospital admissions each year.

Concussion

A concussion may result when the head strikes against an object or is struck by an object. Concussions may produce unconsciousness or bleeding in or around the brain.

Bicycle helmet - proper usage

Helmets can save lives and prevent trauma, but only if they are worn properly. A helmet should be worn squarely on the top of the head, covering the top of the forehead. The chinstrap must be fastened and the helmet should fit snugly and comfortably. The helmet should not be able to move side-to-side or front-to-back. Most helmets come with removable pads so you can customize the fit for any child.

Head injury

Head injuries can range from a minor bump on the head to a devastating brain injury. Learning to recognize a serious head injury, and implementing basic first aid, can make the difference in saving someones life. Common causes of head injury include traffic accidents, falls, physical assault, and accidents at home, work, outdoors, or while playing sports.

Intracerebellar hemorrhage - CT scan

Intracerebellar hemorrhage shown by CT scan. This hemorrhage followed use of t-PA.

Indications of head injury

Head injury can be classified as either closed or penetrating. In closed head injury, the head sustains a blunt force by striking against an object. In penetrating head injuries, a high velocity object breaks through the skull and enters the brain. The signs and symptoms of a head injury may occur immediately or develop slowly over several hours.

Causes

Symptoms

First Aid

Do Not

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention