Friday, 22 February 2013

Head Injury Signs and Symptoms

The term ‘head injury’ can refer to any damage done to the scalp, skull or brain. Injuries of this type vary in severity and can range from minor to life-threatening. 

The signs of a head injury include anything that you can physically see, such as bruises, bumps, lacerations and puncture wounds. These are often easily noticeable and can normally be treated quickly. The internal symptoms of a head injury though are harder to determine because they are the ‘feelings’ you get following an accident. They don’t always affect your head visibly and there is often a delay between the injury occurring and the symptoms manifesting. 

Signs of a head injury

As mentioned above, head injuries can affect the scalp, skull or brain, or a combination of the three. 
  • Scalp injuries – scalp injuries are normally easy to spot and easy to treat although they do tend to bleed profusely. Most have no long term harmful consequences.
  • Skull injuries – skull fractures are more severe because they can cause bleeding inside the skull or even in the brain without breaking through the scalp tissue. It is important to look for symptoms associated with this type of injury when no signs are present.
  • Brain injuries – the brain is a delicate, vital organ and can become damaged even if there is no obvious outward sign e.g. scalp laceration or skull fracture. Again it is vital to watch for symptoms. 
As you can see the signs of head injury are really only obvious when the scalp is damaged. If the scalp remains intact then you’ll need to consider the common symptoms to assess severity. 

Symptoms of a head injury

The initial symptoms of a minor head injury often manifest soon after the injury is sustained and include most commonly a headache. You may feel fine for hours or even days after your accident though, but this doesn’t mean everything is fine in your brain. The symptoms of severe head injuries can take a significant period of time to develop and include the following: 

  • Blurred or double vision that doesn’t get better with rest
  • Prolonged headache accompanied by nausea or even vomiting
  • Sudden loss of consciousness.
  • Bouts of confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Forgetfulness
  • Blood or clear fluid leaking from the nose or ears
If, following an accident, you experience any of the above symptoms it is vital that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. The quicker you can get treatment the less likely you are to suffer long term problems or potentially life-threatening conditions. If you are at all in doubt go directly to your local hospital and bypass your doctor’s surgery completely. Remember, speed is of the essence when it comes to the health of your brain. 

The professional opinion of a medical doctor is also required in cases of head injury claims. Some head injuries can take upwards of two years to fully heal and it may be that lasting problems, such as slurred speech or blurred vision, remain. In severe cases you may be unable to work for a considerable amount of time, and it is in these situations that head injury claims, and the support of an experienced solicitors, are a must.

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