Head injuries are caused by external force on the skull. The brain can always be affected. Head injuries, even if they look harmless on the surface, should be examined by a doctor so that serious and perhaps irreversible damage to the brain can be excluded or prevented through early treatment.
Head injuries can occur in different forms and degrees of severity, so that the symptoms that occur can be very different. Lacerations on the head are usually associated with profuse bleeding, which should be stopped promptly.
When an external force acts on the skull bone, it can become Head injuries come. Different types and degrees of severity are distinguished.
If only the skull is affected, it is either a bruised skull or a skull fracture (fracture of the skull bone). If the force was so strong that the brain was also injured, this is referred to as a traumatic brain injury.
Brain injuries are divided into three levels. Concussion (commotio cerebri) is the easiest form, it heals without consequences. In the case of brain contusion (contusio cerebri), there may be an injury to the brain tissue, with possible long-term consequences.
The most severe form of head injury is brain contusion (compressio cerebri), in which cerebral haemorrhage and permanent damage cannot be ruled out.
Occur especially often Head injuries in sporting activities. But road traffic, household chores and work are also some of the places where head injuries often occur. The violence on the skull usually takes place through a blow or a blow. One possibility is that the head is at rest and a blow hits it from outside. This happens, for example, during sports with a racket or kick.
The other variant is that the head moves and is suddenly and hard stopped by a solid object. It can be a wall that you are thrown against or the floor that your head hits after a fall. In both cases the brain is hit against the skull bone from the inside because it cannot follow the sudden change in movement due to gravity.
Another type of head injury occurs when the force is so strong that the bones of the skull cannot counter the force and breaks. If the meninges are torn, one speaks of an open head injury, which is one of the most serious head injuries.
Head injuries can occur in different forms and degrees of severity, so that the symptoms that occur can be very different. Lacerations on the head are usually associated with profuse bleeding, which should be stopped promptly. Otherwise, there will be significant blood loss. If the head injury was caused by a bruise or by strong external force, long-lasting headaches are very common.
It is not uncommon for those affected to complain of severe nausea, which in certain circumstances can last for several days. Head injuries can also be triggered by allergic reactions. Constant scratching can cause open wounds that become easily infected. Such an infection usually manifests itself as severe pain and a visible production of pus.
If you do not visit the doctor at this point, you must expect a considerable worsening of the symptoms. However, those who opt for medical and drug treatment can count on a quick and complete recovery. Head injuries can be very diverse, so that the possible symptoms can also occur in different degrees of severity. However, rapid treatment ensures smooth healing with no possible complications.
First aid for traumatic brain injury and the typical symptoms. Click image to enlarge.
Diagnosis is one of the most important factors in Head injuries. The doctor must assess the severity and extent to which the head and brain are affected in order to initiate the correct treatment. Head injuries can appear harmless at first and later turn out to be serious.
Conversely, head injuries sometimes appear more dramatic than they are, for example if the scalp is injured. Since the scalp is traversed by many blood vessels, a cut or laceration on the head bleeds relatively heavily and appears to the layman as a serious injury.
The doctor uses the symptoms and various examinations to determine the extent of a head injury and whether or not the brain is affected.
The symptoms begin with mild nausea and extend to severe disturbances of consciousness, disorders of nerve functions, unconsciousness or even coma. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance tomography (MRI) make it possible to see the extent to which the bones and brain are damaged in the case of head injuries.
Head injuries can of course be very diverse and occur in different degrees of severity. Superficial head injuries usually heal without complications. However, it is important: An open wound on the head should always be kept clean and pure. If hygiene is neglected at this point, there is a risk of inflammation.
In this context, further complications are possible if going to the doctor is put on the back burner. If you do not visit the doctor even if there is pus formation, this can even lead to blood poisoning. If there is blood poisoning, there is an acute danger to life. In the case of smaller and not too deep injuries to the head surface, it is not necessary to glue or sew the wound.
The wound should heal without any complications provided that strict hygiene is observed. However, if there is a deep head injury, then serious complications are to be expected, which should usually always be assessed by a doctor. In particularly bad cases, suturing the existing wound is inevitable.
The same applies here: There is a high risk of inflammation. Particularly in the case of deep wounds, greater attention should be paid to cleanliness and purity. In this way, various complications can be avoided that can significantly inhibit the healing process.
Head injuries must be taken seriously and monitored. Medical advice is always required after a serious fall or collision. If you lose consciousness, the emergency doctor must be alerted immediately. Even minor injuries must be investigated if pain, bleeding or other symptoms develop. Since the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury often do not appear until hours later, the person affected must be kept in view. If he complains of a lack of memories, dizziness, disorientation or nausea, a doctor must be consulted. Loss of consciousness indicates a serious injury that requires immediate treatment.
In the event of respiratory or cardiac arrest, life-saving measures must be started immediately. An ambulance service must also be alerted. The patient then has to spend a few days in the hospital and should also have regular check-ups after completing the initial treatment. With children, any head injury should be taken to the pediatrician. This is especially true if the child vomits or complains of increasing headaches and dizziness.
Treatment of Head injuries depends on the severity. A laceration should first be bandaged sterile so that no germs can penetrate. Quick care by a doctor who will stitch or staple the wound is necessary. If no external injury can be seen, but the person concerned is dazed or even unconscious, he should be brought into a stable side position immediately.
This prevents vomit from blocking the airways or the tongue falling into the throat, which could lead to suffocation. People with head injuries should always be brought to the clinic for further treatment. There they are monitored to rule out or prevent brain injuries with long-term consequences. If there is only a slight concussion, a few days of bed rest are sufficient.
If there are severe head injuries with cerebral haemorrhage, surgically relieves pressure and a drainage (drainage tube for blood and wound water) is placed. The skull will remain open until the swelling has subsided and the wound has stopped bleeding. If the facial skull is broken, this is also treated surgically.
A skull base fracture usually does not require an operation; it is treated with bed rest and antibiotics in order to avoid a brain infection. Patients with head injuries usually remain under observation in the hospital.
The prognosis for head injuries depends very much on the symptoms. Basically, depending on the type of complaint, a distinction can be made between mild and severe forms. A minor head injury has a good chance of complete healing. Symptoms usually subsided after the second week. Only in very rare cases do they last for months or even years. Patients with a single head injury are statistically prone to a second. It is advisable to completely heal wounds before exposing yourself to new stress.
The situation is different with severe head injuries. The prognosis is mixed. Older people in particular no longer have sufficient regenerative powers. For them, there is sometimes the worst prospect. Patients need at least six months before recovery is possible at the earliest. Depending on the severity of the injury, the healing process can take years. Some sufferers have to live with long-term problems afterwards. They can no longer exercise basic skills properly. Persistent disturbances then necessitate permanent care. It has been proven that those who are unconscious improve their chances of recovery if they wake up in the first week.
Around Head injuries To prevent this, it is advisable to wear a helmet during sporting activities or activities with a potential risk of falling. Many head injuries could be avoided by wearing a helmet.
The extent to which follow-up care is necessary depends on the extent of the head injury. If the brain functions are not impaired, there is a full recovery. Follow-up care is then not necessary. However, head injuries can recur at any time. However, the reasons for this are so diverse that they cannot be conclusively named. A certain amount of caution and mindfulness is programmed into people.
Overconfidence or a wrong view of the risk make the recurrence of a head injury incalculable. When practicing certain sports, such as skiing, motorcycling or cycling, people should definitely wear a helmet as protective equipment. If permanent damage to the brain remains, follow-up care can only consist of everyday medical support.
Offers of help such as therapies and medication are important - also to prevent complications.The extent of medical treatment depends, among other things, on the damage. Examining the nervous system in the brain also provides information about neurological disorders. In principle, more frequent examinations can be expected if doctors expect an improvement in the symptoms. If damage has existed for years, no recovery can be expected.
In the event of serious head injuries, especially severe blows or violent falls, a doctor should always be consulted immediately, as there is a risk of concussion or a fractured skull. A doctor should always be consulted as a precautionary measure in the event of blows or falls on the head of small children, as the skull bones are not yet fully developed.
In healthy adults, minor head injuries can initially be treated by yourself. Small cuts or lacerations after a fall on a bicycle or another accident should be cleaned and disinfected. It is then best to apply an antibacterial healing ointment and protect the wound with a plaster. Alternatively, a spray dressing can be used.
Immediate cooling is the best solution for blunt injuries associated with tissue swelling or hematomas. A washcloth or an ice pack dipped in cold water can be used. Cold compresses, which can be bought in pharmacies and drugstores, are also helpful. To promote the swelling of the tissue, compresses with healing clay or acetic acid clay can be used. Over-the-counter pain relievers from the pharmacy help against mild headaches.
If certain symptoms develop after the head injury, in particular dizziness, nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances or severe headaches, a doctor must be consulted immediately. This also applies if the injury appears harmless, as there is a risk of serious complications if a concussion or other serious disorders are delayed.