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Cranial trauma > Health and Wellness.

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Brain is an essential body which controls all the body in multiple ways, the command center is located and any damage could have repercussions elsewhere in the body or in the conduct of the person. The term 'trauma' is used when there is an injury to the scalp, skull or, more profoundly, in the brain. Therefore, they fall into this category both small hits that cause bulging in the area, and serious brain injuries.
Although the human skull is tougher than it looks, not is should downplay a blow to the head. Watchful may indicate the severity of the blow and if necessary specialized care to prevent sequelae, especially in young children and elderly people, as they are the most vulnerable to such injuries.

Causes of head injury

One of the major causes of head injury are traffic accidents, especially those where motorists without helmet or people who do not have safety belts positions are involved.
They also tend to be cause of head injury accidents due to falls or shocks, and occur most often in the average domestic; Although they can also occur as a result of sports-related accidents.
Also, falls within the head injuries a problem called 'shaken baby syndrome', which is becoming more common. In children under three-year-old brain still does not occupy all the cranial space and to shake abruptly forward backward, the brain hits the interior walls of the skull causing serious injury. It is also a form of physical child abuse and one of the most common causes of death in abused infants.

The head injury prevention

The best way to avoid this type of situation is prevention, and so there are some good habits that are advisable to implement in daily life:
  • To the extent possible, avoid children to perform dangerous activities such as uploading to unprotected high places.
  • Always wear seat belt put on the vehicle, as well as the helmet if we are on motorbikes or bicycles.
  • Never drive any type of vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and prevent other people from doing it.
  • Always apply the necessary safety measures in case of any type of hazardous activity, whether gainful or labor.

Types of head injury

To assess the severity of trauma to the head, they will attend two types of classifications. The first relates to the type of injury, and the second has to do with the level of consciousness that the accident shows.

Depending on the type of lesion

  • Closed head injury: occurs when the head has been hit by an object that has not come to break the skull. They are the most common and, although it does not appear serious early attention is required.
  • Open head injury: is caused by striking the head with a hard object that has managed to break the skull and reaches the brain. This type of lesion presents more complications and should be treated quickly to avoid major sequels.

According to the level of awareness of the victim

  • Mild head injury: the loss of consciousness of the rugged is reduced to 30 minutes and the awakening shown reactive to stimuli, answer questions and moves. It is possible to have small episodes of memory loss that eventually will be sending. The recovery is almost complete.
  • Moderate head injury: the victim, although he is aware, does not respond correctly to stimuli. You have difficulty speaking and stay tuned, it seems sleepy and estuporoso. In some cases you may need hospitalization and even surgery. You can leave sequelae such as occasional memory loss, concentration difficulties and headaches.
  • Severe cranial trauma: the injured person is in a State of coma, does not respond to any stimulus and will not wake up. Urgent medical care is absolutely necessary. The recovery is long and hard, and never complete.

Symptoms of trauma and concussion

When trauma causes changes in the functioning of the brain, thus appearing different signs and symptoms according to the severity of the injury, one speaks then of concussion.
The signs and symptoms of head injury can appear immediately after the impact, gradually or they may take hours or days to manifest itself. Even when there is an injury, it is possible that even if the skull is intact the brain has been affected, so there is a concussion.
A concussion is a series of symptoms that can vary depending on the severity, and can last from a few hours to weeks. Depending on the severity are observed:
  • Mental confusion, difficulty thinking clearly.
  • Loss of memory of events surrounding the time of the accident.
  • Drowsiness, sleep more than normal and have trouble waking up.
  • Pupils unequal, by observing the eyes is one of them more extensive than other.
  • Hallucinations, see flashing lights.
  • Difficulty to keep the balance, even preventing wandering.

Signs of alarm in cerebral trauma

If you observe any symptoms of concussion must be very attentive, because there are signs that must be taken into account, since they announced a case of emergency in which you have to act with extreme rapidity. The following signs are cause for alarm:
  • Consciousness changes abruptly, being alert in a moment and unconscious in another.
  • The affected behaves in unusual way.
  • The confusion is on the rise and does not go away.
  • It is unable to move an arm or a leg.
  • Seizures with possible loss of knowledge.
  • Prolonged unconsciousness (coma).
  • Pupils of the eyes of different size.
  • You vomit more frequently and twice
  • Problems with balance and even walk.

Diagnosis of a concussion

A concussion frequently does not reveal symptoms until after hours, even days. At the Medical Center, the professional will do a physical examination, and also perform simple questions such as "what day is your birthday?" to assess the State of consciousness and memory and confirm the diagnosis of concussion or brain trauma. It is also possible to use more advanced methods, they are called image tests that provide a view of the brain and the skull, making that the lesions become visible and therefore, until symptoms appear may be:
  • Computed tomography: is an imaging test that uses x-rays to observe both the skull and the bones of the face and jaw, and the brain. It is totally painless and usually lasts about 5 minutes. It allows to observe possible bone fractures, internal bleeding and aneurysm.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG): this test focuses on the electrical activity of the brain cells. It is represented by a series of waves, and when there is an injury these waves are different from normal. It serves to verify the existence of seizures, and also to confirm brain activity in an area of the brain affected by the coup.
  • Magnetic resonance: If tomography is used to see the bones, the MRI shows brain and soft tissues that surround it, making easy the search for any injury. It is painless and radiation are not used.

What to do before a head injury?

Mild head injury in principle do not require immediate medical help or no special treatment. However, should keep in mind that the symptoms may appear later, so certain precautions should be taken:
  • Always watch the victim from a head injury and not lose sight of it.
  • That the affected do not perform actions that may cause other additional injury.
  • That it does not carry out activities requiring much concentration, such as reading, math, or another type of brain stimulation.
  • Avoid flashing and intense lights and loud noises.
If it has established that the trauma is moderate or severe and cerebral involvement, other more precise steps should be followed:
  • Call the number of emergencies in your area explaining precisely the situation that caused the trauma.
  • If the victim is unconscious, check breathing and, if necessary, apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers.
  • If you are unconscious, but found that it breathes, must be treated with special care, therefore is not known if the column has been affected. This is placed the victim mouth up with your hands at the sides of his head to prevent it from moving.
  • If the victim is unconscious and vomits, turn the head to one side to prevent choking.
  • If there is bleeding trying to stop it by applying firm pressure to the wound, carefully not to move the head and applying precise care for bleeding.
  • If suspected that there might be a skull fracture, the wound is pressed directly or waste that may have formed, are removed but that is covered with a sterile dressing, gauze or clean cloths.
  • Put compresses of ice on the inflamed areas, with care not to leave them more than five minutes at a time.

What not to do in the event of trauma

It is important to also know those who must avoid or actions that must not be performed if we have a case of head injury:
  • Not abandon the victim at any time.
  • If the rugged town and suspected of serious trauma, we should not remove it.
  • The victim can not drink alcohol for 48 hours after having suffered a head injury.
  • They should not remove debris or objects which protrude from a wound in the head, because it could trigger a hemorrhage.
  • Do not move the victim only has to be done in cases where it is found in additional danger.
  • If a child falls and suspected head injury, do not lift it up or move it.
  • Do not wash the wounds on the head if you notice bleeding, since there may be fractures.

Published for educational purposes
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