When Should I Go to the ER With a Head Injury?
Head injuries are a common complaint in the ER and require a quick evaluation and a CT scan to rule out a surgical emergency such as bleeding on the brain.
Signs of a serious head injury or concussion include:
- Changes in vision
- Light sensitivity
- Trouble walking or problems with balance
Someone experiencing these symptoms following a head injury should receive immediate medical treatment, whether they occur directly following the injury or hours or days later.
How Do I Know if Someone Has a Concussion?
Research shows that a lot of kids are experiencing concussion symptoms and not recognizing or reporting them for various reasons. Research also shows that chronic traumatic encephalopathy — a debilitating brain disease typically associated with football players — can develop without concussion and in younger athletes. Parents need to be on the lookout for these signs of concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Signs of concussion include:
- Persistent headache or neck pain
- Feeling lightheaded
- Nausea and vomiting
- Balance and coordination issues
- Speech and memory problems
- Blurred vision or photophobia (sensitivity to light and sound)
- Ringing in the ears or trouble hearing
- Feeling fatigued or tired
- Changes in sleep patterns or moods
Learn more about recognizing and preventing concussions.
If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.