The Longevity Project: What should you do if you or someone you know may have experienced head injury?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are called a “silent epidemic” because the injury impacts millions but can go undetected. Over the years, concerns for TBIs has grown, in part due to the attention paid to long-term health complications experienced by professional football players.
“For a long time, people would say to somebody, ‘You had a concussion, brushed it off. Get back out on the field, no big deal,”‘ said Krista Fox, occupational therapist at Aspen Valley Hospital.
We’ve come a long way since then. Research shows that even a mild concussion can have lasting impacts that may go away over time.
So, what should you do if you or someone you know have experienced a head injury?
The first thing you should do is call 911. The sooner an injured person receives professional medical treatment, the better.
While you wait for emergency responders, you can administer the following steps, according to Mayo Clinic:
1.) Keep the injured person still.
The injured person should be laying down, with their head and shoulders slightly elevated. If they are wearing a helmet, it is advised to not remove it.
2.) Stop any bleeding.
Apply pressure to a wound with a sterile gauze or clean cloth. If there is a skull fracture, do not apply direct pressure.
3.) Watch for changes in breathing and alertness.
Pay close attentions to changes in breath. If necessary, administer CPR.
Applying a cold compress to a head wound is also advised to mitigate swelling.
According to Mount Sinai, it is not advised to wash a head wound that is deep, move an injured person unless absolutely necessary or shake an injured person if they seem dazed.
However, according to Fox, for some it can take a bit of time before an injured person starts to recognize that a brain injury could has occurred.
“Sometimes, it can even be that someone has had an accident or an injury, and they don’t recognize anything happened to their head,” she said. “Then, it may be a couple of days later, and they’ve got headaches, or they’re nauseated and have dizziness.”
If you’ve hit your head, it is important to watch for symptoms.
Symptoms of mild TBI include:
- ringing in the ears
- memory impairment
- blurred vision
- behavioral changes
Moderate and severe TBI can produce more symptoms including:
- repeated vomiting or nausea
- slurred speech
- weakness in the arms or legs
- problems with thinking and learning
If you notice any unusual changes after an injury, or if you suspect you may have a traumatic brain injury, contact your doctor immediately.
Brain Health & Injury
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life. This year’s project will focus on the critical and relevant topic of brain health after injury.
Our panelists are experts in treating concussions and TBI. They will share the latest research, treatments, physical therapies and how concussions impact aging. Whether for themselves or someone they know, attendees will learn useful takeaways for optimizing brain health after injury.
WHEN: Nov. 10
WHERE: TACAW, The Arts Campus at Willits Willits
TIME: 5 p.m. Meet and Greet; 5:30-7 Panel Discussion
For ticket information: click here!
To reach Kristen Mohammadi, call 304-650-2404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Buddy Program rang in the holiday spirit with their annual Gingerbread House Workshops in Aspen and Carbondale.