The time immediately following a brain injury is hugely important in telling how bad the damage really is. While the majority of brain injuries are minor, there are a large amount caused by falls, traffic accidents, rough sports, and even physical abuse, which can lead to disability or death.
Not all brain injuries act the same, however. Some people receive what seems to be a minor bump to the head and continue about their day, when really their life is in danger. Being able to identify the signs of a serious brain injury as they become apparent, and knowing how to handle them can be very important to protecting the injured person’s health.
Dr. Lawrence Maccree, a neuroseurgon on the staff at Methodist Medical Center in Tennessee urges, “people should receive emergency treatment after a head injury if they experience convulsions, a severe headache, stiff neck, irritability, loss of movement in their arms or legs, slurred speech, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, vomiting, lack of coordination, changes in their level of consciousness, or fluid draining from the nose, mouth or ears.”
The symptoms could be immediate, or they may not become apparent for days after the event. It is important to keep a close eye on anyone you care about who may have had an injury in the days after, because it is highly possible they seem to be cognitively aware, while really they are dealing with early symptoms of complications from their brain injury.