The brain functions as a control centre for all body actions, including conscious efforts (walking and speaking) and stuns actions (breathing, palpitations, etc.). The mind also controls thoughts, perception, speech and emotions. Some or all of these actions may be interrupted, whether due to a severe injury or due to brain damage from a closed head injury. Closed head injury does not break or pierce the skull. A head injury can be severe and can have a lasting impact on physical and mental activities. This includes loss of consciousness, memory or personality reversal, partial or complete paralysis. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs from motor vehicle accidents, falls, violent incidents, and sports injuries. It is twice the number in men than women. Hence, during such times, the first thing to do is to provide proper first aid on the accident spot. Dr Dilish Malik (Retd Gp Cpt), MBBS, MD (Aerospace Medicine) explains how to give first aid to patients suspecting head injury.
Do's For Head Injury First Aid
- If you see someone falling on the head, follow these pointers for the right care:
- Make sure that the airway is not blocked and the person is carefully placed on the ground without any turns in the body.
- The person giving first aid should stabilize the victim's neck to avoid any movement.
- If there is bleeding, elevate the patient's head to 30 degrees. This should immediately stop the bleeding.
- If suspecting skull fracture, one should apply pressure and then bandage around the edge of the wound.
Don'ts for Head Injury First Aid
Be careful while giving first aid to people with head injuries by avoiding these mistakes:
- Never try to remove any object or impacted object. Try to control the object by placing heavy and bulky dressing surrounding the object.
- Never even try to clean an open skull fracture. In such cases, call for an immediate ambulance for further treatment
- Never elevate the person's leg as it will lead to blood flowing towards the head.
- Do not try to stop the nose of ear bleeding. Instead, try to stabilize the patient by talking to them
- Avoid any drugs that may increase the level of unconsciousness in the patient
Other tips that one should follow in case of head injury are listed below:
- Check and maintain the airway, breathing and blood circulation in the patient
- Assess the level of consciousness
- Check reaction of a patient to sound and light
- Look for signs of bleeding from nose and ear
- Put the patient on oxygen if unconscious
Repercussions of A Head Injury
When the head hits very hard, the brain rotates and rotates on its axle (brain column). This disrupts the normal nervous tract and causes loss of consciousness. If this unconsciousness remains, the injured person is considered to be in a coma. This condition occurs due to the disruption of the nerve fibres going from the brain column to the cortex. Closed head injury is often without any visible external signal. Still, it often results in more extensive damage and broader neurologic deficiencies including partial to full paralysis, cognitive, behavioural, and memory dysfunction, persistent dysfunctional conditions, and death.
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