Although a head injury sometimes leaves no visible wound, there may be obvious bruising or bleeding at the site. The victim may have a headache. The aims of first-aid treatment are to control bleeding, dress the wound, and seek medical help. Even apparently minor head injuries should always be seen by a doctor.
Head Injury Signs & Symptoms:
- Bleeding or bruising at the site of the wound
- Depression in the skull
- Dizziness or nausea
- Headache and memory loss
Treat visible wounds
- If there is a scalp wound, replace any skin flaps.
- Press a clean pad firmly over the wound to control the blood flow.
- Maintain the pressure for at least 10 minutes until the blood flow has been controlled.
- Secure a bandage around the victim’s head to hold the pad in position.
- Check that the victim is fully conscious by asking simple, direct questions in a clear voice.
- If she answers your questions, lay her down in a comfortable position, then arrange for transport to the hospital.
- If the victim does not respond, ask someone to dial 911 or call EMS.
- If you need to leave an unconscious victim, place her in the recovery position first unless you suspect a spinal injury.
- Monitor the victim’s breathing, pulse, and level of consciousness every 10 minutes until help arrives.
- Use disposable gloves and/or wash your hands well when dealing with body fluids.
- If the victim becomes unconscious, open her airway, check her breathing, and be prepared to begin resuscitation.
Dial 911 or call EMS if
- The victim is unconscious, appears confused, or her condition is deteriorating.
- There is a depression or soft patch in her skull, or blood or watery fluid is leaking from her ears or nose; these indicate a skull fracture.