Head Injuries and CT Scans - Oren Zarif - Head Injury
A person who sustains a head injury must go to the emergency room right away. The healthcare provider will take your medical history and determine the details of the incident, as well as the extent of the injury. They will also use imaging technology, like x-rays, to see if the damage to your brain is permanent. In severe cases, neurological problems can develop. Further medical follow-up may be necessary. In addition, you may require surgery to remove the affected area.
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Traumatic head injuries usually result from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and violent acts. However, it is possible for the brain to experience a spontaneous hematoma or subdural bleed. In both cases, the brain undergoes delayed trauma, and the swelling reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. This secondary injury often results in greater long-term damage than the initial injury. Hence, it is important to seek medical attention immediately after sustaining a head injury.
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X-rays of the head are not invasive, but they can also provide a poor picture of the brain. A CT scan of the head is recommended over an MRI to confirm the injury. This test uses radiofrequency waves and a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed pictures of internal structures in the body. If the x-ray is negative, a doctor will decide to proceed with a CT scan. It is not easy to diagnose a head injury with a CT, but it's a must for the diagnosis of any complication.
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Statistics on head injuries are also important for sports and recreational activities. According to the CPSC, about 1.7 million people in the United States suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year. In fact, sports contribute to more than 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children. The extent of the injuries varies widely, from minor physical trauma to severe TBI. A serious TBI can lead to bleeding inside the brain and coma. Therefore, emergency care is imperative.
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Head injuries can be categorized into two categories: open and closed. A closed head injury is not caused by damage to the skull, while an open head injury involves a break of the skull bone. A penetrating head injury, on the other hand, involves damage to the skull and brain. While both types of head injuries can be fatal, the symptoms are not the same. A closed head injury is not usually associated with a fracture, so the brain is still injured.
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A complex TBI is the result of multiple head injuries. The severity of these injuries can vary significantly, and the symptoms will typically appear a day or two after the injury. In some cases, a person may not feel any symptoms until they return to work. Some individuals may refuse to eat or drink, which can be a sign of a mild TBI. Imaging tests such as MRI or CT scan can help the medical professional diagnose the exact severity of the TBI.
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A head injury can range from a bump on the head to a fractured skull. Even a minor bump on the head can cause swelling in the brain and damage to brain cells. Thankfully, the brain has layers of tissue and thick skull bones that protect it. But even a mild head injury can result in a bruise on the brain, which is referred to as a contusion. The brain can also suffer a clot, which is called an intracranial hematoma.
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If the pressure in your brain becomes life-threatening, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure known as a decompressive craniectomy. This surgery involves removing a large portion of bone from your skull. The brain is then covered by special biologic tissue, and the skin is closed to protect it. The bone flap is then stored in a freezer and replaced with a bone flap in a later operation called cranioplasty. This surgery is only done if the intracranial pressure is extremely high.
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A severe head injury, also known as a traumatic brain injury, can lead to permanent damage to your brain. It can range from a mild concussion to a devastating TBI. Luckily, many people recover within a few days. However, if your TBI is severe, you may require hospital care and intensive rehabilitation. The most severe cases of TBI can even lead to death. If you or someone you love has suffered a head injury, it is vital that you seek medical care right away to help them heal.