When to Visit an Emergency Room for Traumatic Brain Injuries: 10 Tips
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be caused by an intense blow to the head or the body. The main causes of TBI include firearms, car accident, and falls
Traumatic brain injuries can be mild or serious and can affect your brain cells temporarily which results in bruised torn tissues, bleeding, and any other physical brain damage.
Deciding to go to the hospital after a head injury can be a matter of life and death. How do you know when to go? It may seem like a difficult decision, but let FrontLine ER sum up the answers for you. When you are in doubt just go to the hospital immediately, not later.
For children, especially those under 2 years of age, any kind of scalp swelling could be an indicator of something serious. Children are bound to get some bumps and if it doesn’t improve or go away after a week or so, or if there are abnormalities in the way children usually behave, then there must be something else going on.
Hypoxia (Lack of Oxygen)
Cognitive disturbances, respiratory failure, and decreased motor control can occur as a result of oxygen deprivation. The skin may also appear bluish (cyanosis), long-term loss of consciousness, seizures, and brain death. It only takes a few minutes for an irreversible brain injury to occur. Visit the FrontLine ER as soon as possible to save your life.
Symptoms of internal bleeding may include bruising behind the ears (battle sign) or around the eyes (raccoon eyes). Sweaty skin, dizziness or lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and paleness (pallor) can possibly indicate an internal bleeding or life-threatening injury and immediate medical attention is required.
You’re experiencing headaches
The most common symptoms after a head injury such as a concussion are headaches. It occurs in about 30% of the people who have reported and it’s usually as a result of blood or fluid collecting inside the skull. If you continue to experience other concussion symptoms like difficulty speaking, arm or leg weakness, insomnia, or a worsening headache, please rush to the ER immediately. At FrontLine ER, we are open 24 hours.
Anosmia, also known as a loss of smell, is a possible symptom of a head injury. It can be hard to notice for most people including doctors. This is because most people don’t bother asking or testing for a loss of or change in one’s ability to smell. This startling symptom is caused by damage in the nasal passageways, olfactory nerves, and sinuses that result from brain injury.
Being forgetful is very common after brain injury and it should be taken very seriously as it can indicate a bruising of the brain tissue. Amnesia affects memory of events that have occurred in the past or right before the injury. Those who experience this type of symptom, eventually regain long-term memories randomly over time.
An imbalance of chemicals in the brain causes Anterior grade amnesia (loss of the ability to create new memories) which affects memories occurring after the injury.
When You Feel Dizzy
Feeling dizzy is a common occurrence after a head injury, although if symptoms continue, you may be having post-traumatic vertigo. It can be determined through a sequence of tests from a doctor. Should you be diagnosed, you may notice dizziness when your head is tilted in a particular position. You could also experience migraine headaches which becomes worse if left untreated.
You Experience Vomiting
Throwing up after sustaining a head injury is an immediate reaction to outside trauma and you will most definitely want to get to an ER.
A study once showed that 7 percent of adults and 12 percent of children experienced vomiting after being involved in a head injury due to fracture of the skull which indicates that there is a link between the two.
According to a recent survey carried out on sleep disorder, sixty percent of people living with a TBI experience long-term difficulties in sleeping. For some, these disturbances prevent them from getting a good night’s rest, while for others, they tend to sleep more than ever before.
This is due to damage to the internal body clock or the brain’s inability to control the body’s breathing changes.
After hitting your head, some type of emotional reaction is to be expected, but if the mood isn’t normal afterward, it could be a sign of trouble. This is often caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls behavior and emotion.
These kind of mood swings are just not minor but are rather flared up. After a concussion, some people may experience increased irritability and outbursts, so it’s advisable to check in with a team of doctors at FrontLine ER to keep those moods monitored.
Patients that have experienced traumatic or moderate brain injuries are at a greater risk of developing disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, especially if the patients are over 65 years. FrontLine ER suggests taking all head injuries seriously in order to avoid potential complications later in life.