Head injury, severe
Severe head injuries require immediate medical attention because there's a risk of serious brain damage.
This topic focuses on severe head injury. Read about Head injury, minor .
Symptoms of asevere head injury can include:
Dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance if you're with someone who experiencesany of these symptoms after sustaining a head injury. 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:
If youve had a severe head injury and theres a chance you may have a brain injury, youll have a computerised tomography (CT) scan to assess the seriousness of the injury.
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is often used to assess head injuries. This is a scale from 3to 15 that identifies how serious your head injury is, based on your symptoms and whether the brain has been damaged (with 3 being most severe and 15 the least severe).
A GCS score of 13 or above would indicate a minor head injury. A score of 9 to 12 would be a moderate head injury. If a person has a severe head injury, they'll have a score of 8 or less.
Some people with significant head injuries have a high GCS score initially, but their score decreases when they're reassessed at a later stage.
If you have a severe head injury, youll be closely monitored and frequently reassessed to check your condition.
This may involve:
Most people are able to go home within 48 hours. However, a small number of those admitted to hospital require skull or brain surgery.
When you're discharged from hospital, your doctor will advise you on the best way to help your recovery when you return home.
This can sometimes lead to brain damage, which can be temporary or permanent.
A severe head injury can also cause other potentially serious complications, including:
Around 1 in every 2,000 people who attend an A&E department with a head injury dies as a result of their injury.
Wearing a safety helmet during certain activities, such as skiing or cycling, may also help to prevent a serious head injury.
, preventing falls and preventing accidents to childrenin the home .
Read about the signs of a severe head injury, such as seizures, unconsciousness, drowsiness, repeated vomiting, and blood or clear liquid coming from the ears or nose.
If any of the symptoms of a severe head injury are present, immediately go to your local accident and emergency (A&E) department or call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
A severe head injury must always be treated in hospital to minimise the risk of complications.
Your recovery programme will depend on the exact nature of your injury, your individual needs and general health.
Severe head injuries can cause serious complications, mainly because the brain can be damaged, sometimes permanently.