minor head injuries

Minor Head Injuries: What Action to Take

Action for Brain Injury Week begins on the 20th May, providing an important opportunity to raise awareness of minor and major brain injuries. By educating yourself on the latest advice and knowing when to seek help, you can assist those in need and prevent minor head injuries from becoming more serious.

Action for Brain Injury Awareness Week 2019

Action for Brain Injury Week focuses on helping people to better understand how to deal with brain injuries, while also working to improve the lives of sufferers.

Understanding head injuries and the signs to watch out for can make a big difference to someone’s life. From being able to identify and treat a minor injury to realising when something more serious needs attention, the action you take could have a significant, long-term impact.

What is a minor head injury?

A head injury can occur in a number of ways. Common accidents such as falling over or bumping your head on furniture can lead to minor head injuries and cause symptoms of concussion, including headache, confusion and dizziness. Symptoms can continue for several weeks after the incident occurs, especially if there is bruising and other signs of injury.

To treat a minor head injury, you can reduce swelling by applying an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas), as well as by taking ibuprofen and paracetamol to ease the pain. It’s important not to use aspirin to treat your symptoms, as this medication can cause or increase bleeding.

During the first few hours after sustaining a minor head injury, you should not leave the injured person on their own. Instead, you should stay with them and keep an eye on their symptoms. If their symptoms change, or you are at all concerned, you can contact 111 for advice. If required, they will put you in touch with your nearest out of hours practice for further assistance and support.

When to seek help for minor head injuries

A head injury that appears minor can soon progress into something more serious. If symptoms are not easing after a period of weeks, it’s important to book an appointment with your GP. A serious head injury will present more obvious symptoms, such as vomiting, unconsciousness, problems with memory or  behavioural changes. You shouldn’t take any chances with a head injury, so be sure to seek appropriate help as soon as possible.

While you might not always be able to prevent accidents in the home, or while you’re out and about, knowing how to treat minor head injuries can save someone’s life, as well as prevent serious brain damage.

If you’re concerned about minor head injuries, call 111 in the first instance. In the event of a serious head injury, you should call 999 for an ambulance.