If you think someone has had a head injury, there six key things you may find. They may have become unresponsive even for a short time. There may be a scalp wound. They may complain of dizziness or nausea. They may have memory loss of events at the time of the injury or before the injury occurred. They may complain of a headache. They may be confused. If you’re worried about someone who has had a head injury, you should get medical advice. With someone who has had a severe head injury, you may find that they have had a severe blow to the head, unresponsiveness or a deteriorating level of response, leakage of blood or watery fluid from the ear or nose, unequal pupil size. If the casualty has any of the signs of a severe head injury, seek emergency medical help. To treat someone with a minor head injury, sit them down and give them something cold to hold against the injury like an ice back or frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth. Assess their level of response using the AVPU scale. Ask yourself: A – is the casualty alert?
Are their eyes open? Do they respond appropriately to commands? V – does the casualty respond to your voice? Can she answer simple questions? P – does the casualty only respond to pain? If you pinch their ear lobe, do they open their eyes? U – are they unresponsive to any of the above? If they can respond normally, the head injury is probably minor. Keep monitoring the level of response, breathing and watch for any changes. Treat any scalp wounds like a bleed, by applying direct pressure to the wound. When the casualty has recovered, ask a responsible person to monitor and look after them. If a casualty has sustained an injury to the head while playing sports do not allow them to return to the sport until they have been fully assessed by a medical practitioner. Advise to seek medical advice if: the condition gets worse, they are over 65, they have had previous brain surgery, they’re taking anti-clotting medication, they have been drinking or taking drugs, or if there is no responsible person to look after them.
If you check their level of response and they’re not alert, and so you think that they’ve had a severe head injury, call 999 or 112 for emergency help and tell them that you suspect a head injury. If you can, use a speakerphone so you can continue to treat the casually while making the call for help. If they are responsive but breathing normally following head injury, open the airway in the position that they were found just in case they have sustained a spinal injury as well. This is to reduce further movements to the neck. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help. Continue to monitor their levels of response while waiting for help to arrive. If you think someone with a minor head injury is getting worse, they may show these signs: increased drowsiness, persistent headache, confusion, dizziness, difficulty walking, difficulty speaking, vomiting, double vision, seizures. If you’re concerned, call 999 or 112 for emergency help and monitor their level of response. So remember: when treating minor head injury, sit them down, treat any scalp wounds, and check their level of response.