Closed Head Injury
(Traumatic Brain Injury)
- Accidents (such as automobile, work-related, sports-related)
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- Loss of consciousness or sleepiness
- Having trouble with memory or paying attention
- Double or blurry vision
- Problems speaking, communicating, or putting thoughts together
- Pupils that are larger than normal or different size pupils
- Unexpected mood swings or behavioral changes
- Drainage of blood or clear fluids from nose or ears
- Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
Minor (Mild) Injury
Moderate or Severe Injury
- Manage current injury
- Decrease risk of further injury
- Provide support like oxygen if needed
- Reducing brain swelling
- Preventing seizures (given in some cases)
- Making burr holes through the scalp and skull to allow excess fluid to drain out.
- Craniotomy—removing a section of the skull to allow room for swollen tissue. May be needed if the brain is swelling.
- Always use seatbelts, shoulder harnesses, and child safety seats when traveling in vehicles. Follow recommendation for child car safety options.
- Learn about the air bags in your car. Young children should not be placed in front of airbags.
Wear a helmet when:
- Riding a bike or motorcycle
- Playing a contact sport like football, soccer, or hockey
- Using skates, scooters, and skateboards
- Catching, batting, or running bases in baseball or softball
- Riding a horse
- Skiing or snowboarding
- Wear mouth guards, face guards, pads, and other safety gear while playing sports.
- Use handrails when walking up and down stairs
- Have safety gates by stairs and safety guards by windows
- Use grab bars in the bathroom
- Place non-slip mats in the bathroom
- Keep walkways clear to avoid tripping
- Make sure rooms and hallways are well-lit
American Academy of Neurology http://www.aan.com
Brain Injury Association of America http://www.biausa.org
The Brain Injury Association of Canada http://biac-aclc.ca
Ontario Brain Injury Association http://www.obia.on.ca
Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 29, 2009. Accessed May 19, 2009.
The management of minor closed head injury in children. Committee on Quality Improvement, American Academy of Pediatrics. Commission on Clinical Policies and Research, American Academy of Family Physicians. Pediatrics. 1999;104:1407-1415.
10/5/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Parikh SN, Wilson L. Hazardous use of car seats outside the car in the United States, 2003-2007. Pediatrics. 2010;126(2):352-357.
4/1/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Choosing wisely. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 26, 2014. Accessed April 1, 2014.
5/12/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Cantor J, Ashman T, et al. Evaluation of short-term executive plus intervention for executive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury: a randomized controlled trial with minimization. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014;95(1):1-9.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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