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Head Injury management


Head Injury: Head injury can be defined as any alteration in mental or physical functioning that is caused due to a blow to the head. Traumatic head injuries are a major cause of death, and disability.

Causes of Head Injury

Head injury may occur when direct or indirect force is applied to the head due to any of the following:

  • Road accidents
  • Motor vehicle crashes, colliding
  • Assaults
  • Athletic participation or sports injury
  • Falls
  • Blast injuries

Signs and symptoms of Head Injury The symptoms of head injury not only depend upon its cause but they are also different for different locations and may include any of the following:   

  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Fracture
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Inability to smell
  • Confused state of mind
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors and dystonia
  • Impairments in sitting, walking and standing balance
  • Loss of memory
  • Increased mood swings
  • Lethargy   
  • Aggression
  • Altered sleep habits Diagnosis of Head Injury

A thorough and careful examination of the patient including cognitive testing is most important in case of head injury. Apart from this, following diagnostic procedures are performed to conclude the damage caused by head injury:   

  • Blood tests:
  • Sodium levels
  • Magnesium levels
  • Coagulation studies (prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), and platelet count)
  • Blood alcohol levels and drug screens
  • Renal function tests and creatine kinase levels
  • Neuron-specific enolase and protein S-100 B
  • Imaging studies:
  • Computed tomography scanning
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)

Management of Head Injury

Management of head injury specifically depend upon the patient condition and findings from the physical and diagnostic testing. It may include following or more:   

  • Acute management of head injury need immediate assessment and stabilization of the airway and circulation.
  • Controlling intracranial pressure by medications like intravenous mannitol or cerebrospinal fluid drainage, or hyperventilation or high-dose barbiturate therapy.
  • Improving cerebral perfusion pressure  
  • Decompressive craniectomies
  • Hypertonicity need oral medications like dantrolene, baclofen, diazepam, and tizanidine

Authored by Dr. Shyam Sundar K

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Dr. Shyam Sundar K

Dr. Shyam Sundar K is an eminent name in the field of neurology. He is one of the best neurosurgeon in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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