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What are signs that a head injury is serious?

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Get medical help right away if someone has any of these after a head injury:

  • Changes in size of pupils
  • Clear or bloody fluid draining from the nose, mouth, or ears
  • Bruising on their face
  • Trouble with hearing, smell, taste, or vision
  • Irritability
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low breathing rate
  • Restlessness, clumsiness, or lack of coordination
  • Severe headache
  • Slurred speech or blurred vision
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting
  • Symptoms suddenly get worse after seeming better
  • Swelling at the site of the injury

From: Head Injuries: Causes and Treatments WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on September 22, 2018

Medically Reviewed on 9/22/2018

SOURCES:

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: "Sports-related head injury."

MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: "Head Injury."

Brain Injury Association of America: "Sports & Concussions."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Head Injuries: What to Watch for Afterward."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page."

American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons: "Keep Injured High School Athletes Out of the Game."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on September 22, 2018

SOURCES:

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: "Sports-related head injury."

MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: "Head Injury."

Brain Injury Association of America: "Sports & Concussions."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Head Injuries: What to Watch for Afterward."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page."

American Academy of Orthpaedic Surgeons: "Keep Injured High School Athletes Out of the Game."

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on September 22, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What sports require helmets or headgear to prevent brain injury?

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