There are two types of head injuries. The first one is a closed head injury, which results from an object striking your head without breaking your skull. Secondly, you can suffer a penetrating or open injury where an object hits your head and breaks the skull. Penetrating injuries often result from an extreme blunt force hitting your head. For example, going through a vehicle's windshield in the event of an accident can easily result in a penetrating injury. Knowing how to respond appropriately in case of a head injury can save your loved one's life. Here is some essential first aid information you need for dealing with traumatic head injuries:
The Effect of a Traumatic Head Injury
It would help if you wrapped your head around the effects of traumatic head injuries before learning how you should deal with them. The most common effect of a traumatic head injury is a concussion. It happens when the blunt force causes the victim's brain to shake. The resulting shock affects the functioning of the brain and the cognitive responses by the individual. It can also cause bleeding from the tissues close to the brain. Other effects of a traumatic head injury include scalp wounds and fractures.
Steps to Take
Start by examining the patient's breathing for any abnormally. If the person appears to be short of breath, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Secondly, the patient could be breathing well, but he or she is unconscious. Assume that such a person has a spinal injury and focus on stabilising their neck and head. Position your hands on the sides of the head, keeping it in line with the spine. Prevent any movement until expert medical help arrives.
Bleeding can also happen during traumatic head injuries. Stop the bleeding by placing a clean, thick cloth over the wound. Refrain from moving the patient's head as you do this. Place a second piece of cloth on top of the first one should the blood soak through the first piece.
Take note of any bumps around the injured area. They could indicate a broken skull, and you should not apply pressure to such an area.
What to Avoid
You need to avoid some common mistakes for a successful first-aid procedure:
- Refrain from washing deep, bleeding wounds.
- Do not remove any object projecting from the injured head.
- Do not shake the patient to wake them up, even if they look dazed.
- Don't remove protective gear like helmets if you suspect that the injury is severe.
To learn more, reach out to an education centre that offers services like HLTAID003 Provide First Aid courses.