How Long To Observe After Head Injury (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Within Two Hours

A head injury is a medical condition that can lead to trauma to parts of the skull or the brain. Scientific terms such as traumatic brain injury are primarily used for referring to such conditions. Head injuries are excruciating and can also result in the death of the patient.

It has been observed that approximately three percent of total head injury cases in patients have resulted in death. Head injuries are mainly caused due to accidents or because of falling hard on the head. Physical assault or fighting and road accidents are the other significant contributors to head injuries.

How Long To Observe After Head Injury?

ABI or acquired brain injury is the term that is used while differentiating brain injuries. It includes injuries that occur due to injury after the birth of a child, from a congenital disorder, or may also be caused due to a genetic disorder. If the head injury is not so serious, the patient is advised to rest after getting proper stitches on the head. However, if the amount of blood loss due to a head injury is very high, such cases require immediate hospitalization and might need surgery. If the blood loss is not controlled, then the patient will die.

In most body injuries, the effect can be observed immediately after it, just like in the cases of breaking a bone. But in some cases, it has been found that the patient doesn’t feel any discomfort for few days after getting injured on the head. Internal bleeding might occur very slowly, and it may not be harrowing. In such cases, when the patient realizes that something is wrong, there is already enough damage done. Such cases are termed inconspicuous medical conditions.

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Events After Head InjuryTime After Head Injury
CT scan in serious casesWithin one hour
Observation in regular casesWithin two hours

It is always advised to visit a medical practitioner as soon as a person is injured on the head. If the case is severe, then doctors might opt for a CT scan to verify whether internal bleeding has occurred or not. CT scans should be performed within one hour. In chronic cases, observation is generally done within two hours.

Why Does It Take That Long To Observe Head Injury?

The history of head injuries is not very long because, in earlier times, no medical technologies were available to determine whether there is a head injury or not. The earliest occurrence of head injury was observed in 1848 when a railway worker was working on the railway lines, and tamping iron exploded in an accident and hit his brain badly. He felt normal for the first few minutes, but soon symptoms such as dizziness and loss of vision were observed.

According to the data available in the hospitals, the majority of head injuries are caused due to falling on the head. Physical assaults or getting struck by something also leads to damage to the brain. Motor vehicle accidents are also a massive reason for causing head injuries in many patients. Most head injuries are observed in children below the age of fourteen. Older people aged more than sixty are also prone to head injuries as their reflex action is slow in case of falls.

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It takes that long to observe head injury because it is one of the most critical parts of the body. Any damage can cause coma as well as death in severe cases. Head must be observed very precisely, and medical guidance is very crucial in such conditions. Any negligence in such cases can be very painful for the patient, and medical experts should be sought as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Overall, it can be concluded that head injuries are one of the most painful injuries that can happen to a person. Traumas on the brain can be excruciating and might be deadly for the patient as well. Significant causes of head injuries include accidents, falling on the head, physical assaults, and a few others.

On average, a patient should be observed within two hours after getting injured on the head. If the patient is not responding very well, then a CT scan should be done within one hour to check for internal bleeding. Individuals must take care of their heads as it is one of the most crucial body parts.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/headtraumarehab/abstract/1991/06000/head_injuries__costs_and_consequences.10.aspx
  2. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/30/4/289.short
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