Health & Wellness / Home & Family

Seeking Help for Head Trauma

Head injury

Real-life events are vastly different from what we see on television and in the movies. For example,  a character may hit the back of their head, take a nap, and wake up feeling gloriously refreshed. Though outcomes for people who hit their heads are often good, real-life head injuries are very serious matters not to be taken lightly. Accidents that involve the head and brain, such as slips and falls, should be medically addressed. That is because any blunt force trauma to that precious part of the body can result in skull fractures, bruising, bleeds, nerve damage, brain injuries, and trauma.

Recently, Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos actor Bob Saget died due to traumatic brain injury. Sadly, he is not alone. Per People.com, as explained by Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, “What happened to Bob Saget is extremely tragic, but unfortunately not uncommon. Every year, more than 61,000 Americans die from traumatic brain injury, and many of these are due to falls.” She explains that falling from standing, especially onto a hard surface like a bathtub or hard ground, can cause the kind of injury the actor experienced. She explains, “A fracture in the back of the skull could lead to fractures in other parts of the skull. That kind of force could also lead to bleeding inside the brain.” The doctor describes the skull as an enclosed structure with nowhere for the blood to go except to press on the brain. “That kind of pressure is what leads to unconsciousness and eventually death.”

Head injuries can range from serious to mild and may produce a range of symptoms reflecting the type of injury. Some hits, such as blows to the head, can lead to concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury that may cause unconsciousness, confusion or produce other warning signs such as a headache, nausea, or blurry vision. Concussions may result from sudden movements that cause the brain to bounce around or twist inside the skull. Though they are often medically referred to as “mild” since most are non-life-threatening, the CDC warns that the effects of untreated concussions can be serious; thus, anyone suspected of having a concussion should seek immediate medical help.

Medical events in real life are very different from those portrayed on television. Bumps to the head are common injuries that most often do not cause serious problems. However, if the injury is blunt, regardless of the appearance of the injured person, or if symptoms are present, the injury must be medically addressed and not ignored. While the skull is designed to protect the brain from injuries, it is possible for it to fracture upon hard impact; thus, communication with a medical doctor can make a lifesaving difference.

This article is purely informational and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.


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