Severe head injury

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A severe head injury necessitates prompt medical care due to the high risk for significant brain damage.

What are the indications?

The signs of a severe head injury might include the following:

  • Loss of consciousness – the individual has given away and becomes unresponsive for a short span of time
  • Concussion
  • Seizures or fits
    Severe head injury
    Sudden puffiness or bruising around both eyes or at the back of the ear.
  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty staying awake or speaking issues
  • Drainage of transparent fluid or even blood from the nose or ears
  • Disrupted senses such as double vision or loss of hearing
  • Sudden puffiness or bruising around both eyes or at the back of the ear
  • Issues with walking or poor coordination

Call for emergency assistance if an individual has any of these signs are present after acquiring a head injury.

Management of a severe head injury

A severe head injury requires treatment in a healthcare facility. Generally, the treatment includes:

  • Monitoring of the condition for any changes
  • Tests to check for further damage
  • Treatment of other injuries
  • Breathing support or brain surgery

Most can go home within 48 hours. Nevertheless, some who are hospitalized require a brain or skull surgery.

Upon release from the healthcare facility, the doctor will provide the individual with instructions that will aid with recovery.


A head injury is hard to predict or avoid, but there are measures that can lower the risk for significant injury such as:

  • The house must be free of any trip hazards that can result to falls such as clutter on the floor or loose rugs or carpets
  • “Childproof” the house to ensure that the young children could not reach balconies or windows
  • Always use the appropriate safety gear for sport or work.
  • Wear a safety helmet when engaging in activities such as cycling or skiing to avert a severe head injury.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a severe head injury is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how the injury is treated, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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