All head injuries, no matter how innocuous they may seem, should be investigated properly by a health professional. Head injuries can be extremely serious and can cause death. A blow to the head can cause internal bleeding and clotting, the symptoms of which may not develop for some time after the initial blow; consequently, people with head injuries should be monitored closely for a period of time.
If the injury is minor, the patient should make sure they have someone with them for the first 24 hours after the injury. If the injury is more serious, the casualty will need to spend time in hospital; during this time their condition will be monitored.
Symptoms of serious head injuries include:
- A persistent severe headache
- At least 2 episodes of vomiting
- Dizziness and confusion
- Changes in the pupils of the eyes
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Persistent bleeding
- Ringing in the ears
- Fluid coming out of the ears or nose (this is usually straw coloured and it may contain blood)
If you come across a casualty with any of the symptoms listed above, call 999 immediately and check their airways, breathing and circulation.