Brain injury
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What is brain injury?
Severe head injuries require immediate medical attention because there's a risk of serious brain damage.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of a severe head injury can include any of the following:
  • unconsciousness – where a person has collapsed and is unresponsive, even for a brief period of time
  • concussion – a sudden but short-lived loss of mental function that occurs after a blow or other injury to the head; a person with concussion may have a glazed look or appear confused, but won't necessarily be unconscious 
  • fits or seizures 
  • difficulty speaking or staying awake
  • problems with the senses – such as hearing loss or double vision
  • repeated episodes of vomiting
  • blood or clear fluid coming from the ears or nose
  • memory loss (amnesia)
  • sudden swelling or bruising around both eyes or behind the ear
  • difficulty with walking or coordination
If somebody has any of the above symptoms following a possible bang to the head, dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance. Alternatively, take them immediately to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.

You should also go to hospital if someone has injured their head and:

  • the injury was caused by a forceful blow to the head at speed, such as being hit by a car or falling one metre or more
  • the person has had previous brain surgery or a previous brain injury of any kind
  • the person has had previous problems with uncontrollable bleeding or a blood clotting disorder, or is taking medication that may cause bleeding problems, such as warfarin
  • the person has been drinking alcohol or has taken drugs
  • the injury was not accidental – for example, deliberate or someone else hurt you on purposeo
How can we help you?
Immediate treatment for a head injury needs to be carried about at an Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department. After leaving hospital following a head injury some people will experience difficulties with memory or other thinking skills, please discuss this with your GP.
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