Head and Neck trauma

The purpose of the head, including the skull and face, is to protect the brain against injury. In addition to the bony protection, the brain is covered in tough fibrous layers called meninges and bathed in fluid that may provide a little shock absorption. Head injury for the purposes of the guideline is defined as any trauma to the head, other than superficial injuries to the face.

Head traumas are a major cause of death, and disability but it might be best to refer to the damage done as traumatic head injury. Head injury refers to trauma of the head. This may or may not include injury to the brain. Traumatic head injury fall into two categories: external (usually scalp) injuries or internal head injuries, which may involve the skull, the blood vessels within the skull, or the brain. A head injury may cause skull fracture, which may or may not be associated with injury to the brain.

Head injury symptoms are often related to the functions of the damaged area. One type of focal injury, cerebral laceration, occurs when the tissue is cut or torn. Signs of head injury are also dependent on the injury's severity. The patient may remain conscious or may lose consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild head injury include headache, vomiting, nausea, lack of motor coordination, dizziness, difficulty balancing, lightheadedness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, and changes in sleep patterns. Cognitive and emotional symptoms include behavioral or mood changes, confusion, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking. These symptoms of minor head injury may also be present in moderate and severe head injury.

Pediatric head trauma happens somehow, even if the parents are extremely vigilant or conscientious. Minor head injury in children usually recovers completely without any long term complications but must be monitored closely and allowed to fully recover. The main concern after any blow to baby's head is injury to the underlying brain is bleeding and concussion. Small bumps and cuts can be comforted by an ice pack or a bandage and kisses. Any time an infant loses consciousness from a head injury trauma, emergency treatment should be provided. The Kids health associations recommend contacting a doctor if the infant is not stopping crying, following an infant head trauma. A more significant head injury in children may make the baby difficult to wake from sleeping. If the child appears to be bluish in color or shows difficulty in breathing following a serious head injury, he/she needs immediate medical attention.

Giving a head injury first aid can save someone's life. Get immediate medical help if the person becomes very drowsy, behaves abnormally, develops a severe headache or stiff neck, loses consciousness, and vomits more than once.

Support can be done for moderate head injury, include checking the person's airway, breathing, and circulation. Stabilize the head and neck by placing your hands on both sides of the person's head, keeping the head in line with the spine and preventing movement if the person's breathing and heart rate is normal but unconscious. Stop any bleeding by firmly pressing a clean cloth on the wound. In case of serious injury, be careful not to move the person's head. Do NOT apply direct pressure to the bleeding site, and do NOT remove any debris from the wound if you suspect a skull fracture. Cover the wound with sterile gauze dressing. Apply ice packs to swollen areas. Wait for medical help.

Head injury management: The immediate assessment and stabilization of the airway and circulation is needed in the setting of acute head injury. Direct attention should be provided to prevent of secondary injury. Some doctors focus on maintaining the intra arterial pressure normal, since elevated intracranial pressure is an independent predictor of poor outcome. Head injury induces a hyper metabolic state and early nutritional interventions may be as critical as cerebral perfusion pressure.

The Head Injury Criterion (HIC) is a measure of the likelihood of head injury arising from an impact. The HIC can be used to assess safety related to vehicles, personal protective gear, and sport equipment. The simplest way to categories severity of head injury on initial assessment is by using the Glasgow Coma Score.

People with a full recovery from head injury often report mental fatigue and feeling not quite the same even though they scored well on standard cognitive tests. The overall outcome for head trauma in children is better than that for adults with the same injury scores.

Head injury rehabilitation involves restoration of functions that can be restored and learning how to do things differently when functions cannot be restored to pre-injury level.

A neck injury is any injury or trauma involving the neck. Damage from a neck injury is limited to soft tissue. But almost all type of neck injury, severe or mild, affects muscles. Strain is an injury to muscles that move the spine. But they sometimes affect the neck, most strains occur in the low back. Neck sprains are often caused by falls or sudden twists that overload or overstretch the joint. Another cause is repeated stress to the joint. Neck injury symptoms include swelling, reduced flexibility and pain. Certain neck injuries may also do damage to the nervous system by irritating nerve roots or affecting the spinal cord. Neck injuries that affect the nervous system are more complicated to diagnose, treat and cope with than soft tissue trauma or mild to moderate joint injury. Penetrating neck trauma is an important area of trauma care. They are neck trauma induced by gunshot wounds, stab wounds, or penetrating debris.

Neck injuries may cause a variety of conditions, from minor neck discomfort to paralysis or death due to cervical vertebrae fracture. Common types of neck injury are neck sprains and strains.

Neck injury treatment depends on a lot of things including the age, other medical conditions and extent of damage to the spine Neck strains and sprains often heal on their own with rest, anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed, and massage or physical therapy. In some cases, a soft neck brace may be recommended for a short period of time.
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