A head injury, also known as a concussion, is simply broken blood vessels that result in bleeding in the brain or the area around the brain. This can be very minor where the person is not aware of an injury or it can be so severe that the person dies within minutes.
A concussion can occur any time there is impact to the head. But it can also occur if the head is shaken violently, even though nothing actually touches the head. This is very common in Shaken Baby Syndrome where an adult shakes a baby so violently that it causes the brain to bounce around inside the skull.
Warning Signs of a Head Injury
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Seeing stars.
- Bruising or bleeding on the head or face.
- Uneven or unresponsive pupils.
Anyone with a concussion should seek medical help right away, even if the warning signs go away. It is vital to make sure that bleeding in the head has stopped, otherwise internal swelling will continue which will literally squish the brain until brain cells die resulting in irreversible brain damage or death.
If someone has become unconscious from a concussion, a spinal injury should be suspected. The person should be kept absolutely still and an ambulance should be called.
Preventing a Head Injury
- Wear a helmet and wear it properly.
- Follow all safety rules when playing sports.
- Wear a mouth guard when playing sports such as hockey.
- Wear seatbelts and use car seats for children properly.
- If diving in water, make sure it is deep enough.