Applying head injury first aid is a procedure that has to be done carefully due to the nature of the injury. In some cases, you might encounter someone who's just incurred a head injury after being in an accident. While you should always call 911 first, everyone should know some basic first-aid steps in order to keep that person under control until medical help arrives.
This can make a huge difference in whether the victim ends up dealing with further injuries that could affect them for the rest of their lives.
Recognizing the Symptoms of a Head Injury
You may not even be aware that a victim has a head injury if the person is lucid. That's one of the problems with head injuries due to some symptoms not even occurring until hours or even days later. However, if you encounter an accident scene and notice one of the victims behaving strangely, you have some clues pointing toward severe head injury.
One common symptom to look out for is severe head or neck pain. Even severe sleepiness can be a sign of a severe trauma to the head. Medline Plus from the National Institute of Health also reminds that unequal pupils in person's eyes can be a sure head injury sign. It helps to have a small flashlight with you to check someone's pupils if it's dark out and you can't see.
Of course, you should look out for any signs of unconsciousness or a person stating they can't move their arm or leg.
Basic First Aid Steps
If a person is unconscious from a head injury, check their breathing to make sure they have no obstructions. In some cases, they may not be able to breathe and you should apply CPR if you're sure you know how to do it correctly.
For victims still conscious, make sure he or she keeps their head stable and in line with their spine. This works similarly to spine injuries where keeping a victim's head and neck straight is essential to avoid further damage. Hold on to the person's head to maintain its stability until medical personnel arrive.
If there's any bleeding from the severity of a head injury, make sure you have a clean cloth to apply pressure over the wound. While you may not have one of these (or a gauze) during an unexpected encounter, just be sure anything you place on a head wound is sanitary. If the victim looks to have a skull fracture, there shouldn't be any pressure applied to the head.
Sometimes those with head injuries will start vomiting. If that's happening, turn the victim on their side while keeping the head and back straight. This can sometimes prevent vomiting and at least prevent choking while being flat on their back.
Things to Avoid
Never shake a person if they happen to be unconscious. You have to assume they may have serious head or spine injuries and should always be kept stable. Plus, don't ever attempt to remove a foreign object that might be in a head wound. The same applies with removing a helmet, even if the immediate thought might be to free the person of said helmet to check the extent of a head wound.
Always let professional medical personnel handle the above. If that person is someone close to you, you may be quickly thinking about the legal repercussions and gaining compensation for all the approaching medical bills. If the injury occurred in Alaska, consider Power and Brown as your personal injury team to help you through any head injury case.
We understand the seriousness of what head injuries can do to a person's future health and well-being. Regardless, we consider each accident carefully and ethically to ensure those who deserve justice get what they need.
Contact us so we can review your case. If you've incurred any of the injuries above as the result of someone else, you're entitled to compensation to help you through the future challenges you're likely to encounter.