Post Incident: What to Do if You Think You Might Have a Head Injury
Head injuries can take a number of forms. They can range in severity from a minor bump on the scalp to internal bleeding that can prove fatal. A single severe blow can damage the scalp, skull, and brain at the same time. Head injuries can be either open and bleeding, or non-penetrating but still serious. The most severe injuries tend to occur in falls, violence, and vehicle accidents. All are common reasons for a trip to the hospital emergency room. Here are some things to consider following a head trauma.
What Not to Do
It can be impossible for an untrained person to determine the effects of head injury. What you should not do is wash heavily bleeding head wounds, or remove any items that have penetrated the wound. If you're feeling loss of mobility, numbness, or a painful, stiff neck, don't move or allow anyone to move you until professional help arrives. Don't sleep if you're feeling dizzy or disoriented, and do not drink alcohol either.
Recognize Symptoms of Serious Injury
Even common concussion can range in severity, but more serious symptoms are cause for concern. These can include dizziness, blurred vision, disorientation, impaired motor function, lack of sleep, nausea, sleepiness, loss of consciousness, or memory loss. The cause could be internal damage to the brain, surrounding tissues, or the spinal cord. If you experience any of these symptoms it's crucial to get to a doctor right away.
Discuss Your Injury with a Physician
After a medical exam, your doctor will be able to tell you the extent of the damage and prescribe a course of treatment. Be completely honest about any symptoms you're experiencing at each visit. Follow up on any medications, therapies, or corrective procedures the physician recommends. Failure to follow medical advice and allow a period of healing could have consequences that affect you for life.
Get Your Life Back on Track
Recovery and getting back to your old lifestyle should be your top priority. This could be difficult or impossible if you've suffered a permanent disability or are swamped with medical bills. In the event that your injury was a direct result of another person's actions, or failure to act, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Head injuries are all too common but require expert medical diagnosis. Should you be injured through no fault of your own, your quality of life might also depend on all the professional help that you can get.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. For your personal injury needs, Hannah recommends Kidwell & Gallagher LTD.