Head injuries are very common in the event of an accident. In India, almost 50 thousand people die due to head injury every year. In some instances head injuries are fatal, and in other instances their impact is visible only at a later stage. It is important to educate people about head injuries. In any accident, the people present at the site play a very significant role. If these people can take the victim to the hospital soon enough & the victim received immediate medical attention he or she can be saved.
It is also important to ensure that the victim can breath & their is no excessive blood loss. Oxygen masks & measures to stop the flow of blood such as tying bandage/cloth over the injury can increases the chance of survival of the victim by up to 50 percent. Except in cases where the brainstem is affected ,treatment on time can save the person. In many incidences of accident people have anoxia – Anoxia results when oxygen is not being delivered to a part of the body. Sometimes there is haemorrhage and brain edema. Due to brain haemorrhage the victim may vomit and collapse.
Head injuries are of two types
- Retrograde amnesia
- Post traumatic amnesia
In Retrograde amnesia the victim loose his consciousness after head injury. He does not remember anything about events after his injury, but he can recall events before the injury and after he gets back his consciousness. Such victims can later recall incidences leading to their injury, and after some time they can become normal.
In Post traumatic amnesia the person looses his memory completely. He remain unconscious for a longer period of time, and the victim may be unable to state his or her name, where he or she is, and what time it is.
In some cases of head injury it has been found that the person does not have any external injury, but still he falls unconscious. It can be due to internal haemorrhage. These conditions indicate that head injuries can affect the entire life and can be fatal in many instances.
It is important to get an early treatment because in some cases where the brain stem is affected, it becomes difficult for the resident doctors to suggest the right treatment. They need to take advise from an expert. As a layman whenever we see an accident, we should seek assistance in taking the victim to the nearest hospital.We must also ensure that the victim can breath,there is minimum blood loss & victim’s wounds are not exposed to contamination.