With school sports back in session and holiday decorations just around the corner, some families might notice a rise in household accidents and injuries. Some kids might trip on the field while parents might run the risk of getting hit on the head while trying to put Halloween decorations on the house. No matter how an accident occurred, whenever someone takes an impact to their head, they run the risk of suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
In honor of National Traumatic Brain Injury Month, we here at Grand Parkway Emergency Center want to discuss how someone should react in the event of a TBI. When someone you love has suffered a head injury, it is important to know the signs of head trauma and what you should do when you notice them.
What to Look For
Whether a hit to the head looks like it was severe or not, TBIs can happen at anytime. They are not injuries that occur simply by being hit with a great force but are sometimes the result of shaking or a shock to the head. When your brain can be shifted in your skull, there is always a chance of swelling, concussion, and severe injuries.
If someone near you has been hit, fallen, or somehow gotten an injury on their head, the look for the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- Severe headache that will not go away
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Slurred speech
- Memory problems
- Sleep problems
Some of these symptoms are seen right after the injury takes place, but others might not show up for hours or even days after impact. This makes diagnosing TBIs difficult, as well as makes it important for families to know what they need to look for.
How to React
In the moment, when someone falls or is hit in the head, you might not know what to do. Should they sit down? Should you get help? Can they eat or drink? While many of these questions might seem self-explanatory, in a moment of worry it can be hard to decide on what to do.
To begin with, it is always advised that someone who has just been hit in the head gets off their feet. If they are suffering from a TBI, then they might be unsteady on their feet or dizzy. To make sure you can properly evaluate how they are doing, you should make sure that the injured person is able to sit or rest in a cool place.
It is alright to offer an injured person water, though if someone is feeling nauseous after an injury they may not feel like eating or drinking much. Noting this will help you to evaluate their condition, so pay attention to how they feel.
The next thing you want to do is ask the injured person questions to help discern their condition. Ask simple questions, like their name, the date, and what state they live in. The questions should be something you know the answer to as well, so that you can see how confusion the injured person may or may not be. Taking notes of their answers and how they behave is a good idea.
If you notice immediate symptoms of a TBI, or there are signs of another medical emergency, like heavy bruising or blood resulting from the impact, then it might be time to seek medical help. Traumatic Brain Injuries are treatable, but if they are left untreated, then TBIs can worsen and result in secondary medical conditions. This means time is of the essence when you suspect someone has a TBI.
Sometimes, TBIs happen when we’re least prepared for them. Late night sports games, weekend family activities, and, of course, during the holidays. This can make finding treatment difficult, since most primary physicians’ offices are not open at these hours. Grand Parkway Emergency Center wants to reassure everyone in our community, though. Our facility is open 24/7 with concierge-level emergency care for adults and children alike. In the event of a head injury, our staff of board-certified doctors and nurses are ready to give your family the treatment they deserve.
This blog is written by Maggie Berardo, staff member at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Grand Parkway Emergency Center, A Department of OakBend Medical Center or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.