Head Injuries

Also called: Cranial injuries, Skull fractures, Skull injuries

Chances are you've bumped your head before. Often, the injury is minor because your skull is hard and it protects your brain. But other head injuries can be more severe, such as a skull fracture, concussion, or traumatic brain injury.

Head injuries can be open or closed. A closed injury does not break through the skull. With an open, or penetrating, injury, an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. Closed injuries are not always less severe than open injuries.

Some common causes of head injuries are falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and sports injuries.

It is important to know the warning signs of a moderate or severe head injury. Get help immediately if the injured person has

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • An inability to wake up
  • Dilated (enlarged) pupil in one or both eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation

Doctors use a neurologic exam and imaging tests to make a diagnosis. Treatment depends on the type of injury and how severe it is.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Head Injuries

The following features are indicative of Head Injuries:
  • headache that does not go away or gets worse
  • repeated vomiting or nausea
  • convulsions or seizures
  • inability to wake up
  • enlarged pupil in one or both eyes
  • slurred speech
  • weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • loss of coordination
  • increased confusion
  • restlessness
  • agitation

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Common Causes of Head Injuries

The following are the most common causes of Head Injuries:
  • falls
  • motor vehicle accidents
  • violence
  • sports injuries

Risk Factors for Head Injuries

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Head Injuries:
  • falling down
  • high-risk sports
  • motor vehicle collision
  • pedestrian or bicycle accident
  • physical abuse
  • children
  • young adults

Prevention of Head Injuries

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Head Injuries. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • always use safety equipments like seat belts, helmets and hardhats
  • do not drink and drive

Occurrence of Head Injuries

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Head Injuries cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Head Injuries can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Head Injuries can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Head Injuries

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Head Injuries:
  • Neurologic exam: To diagnose head injury
  • Imaging tests: To diagnose head injuries

Doctor for Diagnosis of Head Injuries

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Head Injuries:
  • Neurologist

Complications of Head Injuries if untreated

Yes, Head Injuries causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Head Injuries is left untreated:
  • coma
  • vegetative state
  • minimally conscious state
  • locked-in syndrome
  • brain death

Procedures for Treatment of Head Injuries

The following procedures are used to treat Head Injuries:
  • Surgery: Removes the clotted blood and repairs the skull fractures

Self-care for Head Injuries

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Head Injuries:
  • Use seat belts and airbags: Always wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle
  • Avoid alcohol and drug use: Don't drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Wear helmets: Wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard, motorcycle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Head Injuries

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Head Injuries:
  • Herbal and Arcanum therapy: Helps in the injury healing process
  • Acupuncture: Helps in the injury healing process

Patient Support for Treatment of Head Injuries

The following actions may help Head Injuries patients:
  • Join a support group: Learn new coping strategies and get emotional support
  • Write things down: Keep a record of important events
  • Take breaks: Make arrangements at work or school to take breaks as needed
  • Avoid distractions: Minimize distractions while driving
  • Stay focused: Work on one task at a time

Time for Treatment of Head Injuries

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Head Injuries to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Head Injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury

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