Having Head Injury? Call 64762106 to consult with Dr Mathew Tung, our neurosurgeon for immediate appointment.
Head injury (head trauma) is a condition where the head structure is impacted from the outside and potentially cause interference with brain function. Some conditions of head injury include minor injuries, bruises on the scalp, swelling, bleeding, dislocations, skull fractures and concussions, depending on the mechanism of impact and the severity of injury suffered.
Based on the severity, injuries were divided into three, ie mild, moderate, and severe head injury. Mild head injury can cause temporary disruption to brain function. Patients may feel nauseous, dizzy, confused, or difficulty remembering for a while. Patients with moderate head injury may also experience the same condition, but in a longer time.
For people with severe head injury, the potential for long-term complications to death can occur if not treated properly. Changes in behavior and paralysis are some of the effects that can be experienced by patients because the brain is damaged, both its physiological function and its anatomical structure.
In addition, head injuries can also be differentiated into open and closed head injuries. Open head injury is when the injury causes damage to the skull bone so it concerns the brain tissue. While a closed head injury is when the injury that occurs does not cause damage to the skull bone, and not about the brain directly.
Causes of Head Injury
Head injuries occur when there is a violent collision, especially those directly on the head. The severity of the injury will depend on the mechanism and severity of the impact experienced by the patient.
Here is a series of activities or situations that may increase the risk of head injury:
-Fall from a height or slip on a hard surface.
-Injuries while exercising or playing.
-Use of explosives or weapons with noisy sounds without protective equipment.
-Shaken baby syndrome, or syndrome that occurs when the baby is shaken roughly or excessively.
Although head injuries can occur in all people, the risk of head injury may increase when a person is in productive and active age such as 15-24 years old, or the elderly are aged 75 and older. Newborns are also susceptible to this condition until the age of 4 years.
Symptoms of Head Injury
Symptoms experienced by head injury sufferers vary according to the severity of the condition. Not all symptoms will be felt immediately after the injury occurs. Sometimes new symptoms appear after a few days to several weeks later.
Here are some of the symptoms that can be experienced by people with mild head injury:
Loss of consciousness for a moment. Looks dazed or has a blank look. Dizzy. Losing balance. Nausea or vomiting. Easy to feel tired. Easily sleepy and sleep more than usual. Hard to sleep. Sensitive to light or sound. Blurred vision. The ears ring. The ability to smell changed. The mouth is bitter. Difficulty remembering or concentrating. Feeling depressed. Mood swings.
While in patients with moderate to severe head injury, the following are symptoms that can be experienced:
Loss of consciousness for minutes to hours. Dizzy great on an ongoing basis. Nausea or vomiting on an ongoing basis. Loss of body coordination. Seizures. Pupillary dilation There is fluid coming out through the nose or ears. It is not easy to wake up during sleep. Fingers and toes weakened or stiffened. Feel very confused. Intense behaviour change. Coma.
In children, here are some symptoms that may indicate a possible head injury:
Crying constantly. Easily annoyed. Changes in appetite. It is not easy to concentrate. Sleep patterns change. Often feel sad or depressed. Did not want to play, even though it was her favourite game.
Symptoms of head injury can not be predicted severity only through physical observation. Check with your doctor to find out.
Diagnosis of Head Injury
If you feel any symptoms of a head injury or see someone experiencing it, see your doctor immediately. The doctor will perform a physical exam, such as looking for signs of bleeding, swelling, or bruising, after asking how the injury occurred.
Neurological examination will be performed to evaluate the function of nerves, by measuring muscle strength, the ability of the patient in controlling the movement of muscles, the level of flexibility of eye movements, the ability to feel the sensation, and so on.
The patient’s level of awareness can be assessed by a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) examination through an assessment of the patient’s ability to follow instructions or respond to a given physical stimulus. The normal GCS value is 15, which is the maximum value for this check. The lower the value obtained, then the condition experienced by the patient worse.
If necessary, scans may be performed, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to see potential fractures, bleeding, frozen blood, brain tissue swelling, and blood flow in the brain.
The doctor will also ask family or relatives to monitor the condition of the patient for several days to see the development of symptoms experienced and adjust the diagnosis, such as diet, sleep patterns, speech, mood, and so on.
Head Injury Treatment
Head injury treatment will be adjusted to the level of injury suffered by the patient. In general, the doctor will assist with the administration of medication, therapy, or perform surgery if necessary.
-Therapy includes physiotherapy, nerve therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreational therapy.