Monthly Archives: May 2014

Brain injury


We should all know when you hit your head your brain suffers from an injury. No matter how small or insignificant you may think it is, it’s not.  Hitting your head is serious.  Your brain is floating in a fluid inside the skull and if you hit your head, the brain does bang against the wall of the skull. Researchers are now asking for all children’s sports to be non contact. Even wearing a helmet does very little to protect the brain from injury.. The brain still gets quite a thump even within a helmet..

Ok so I work in the health care industry and at least once per shift I am confronted with someone who has ‘had a fall’

After we assess the severity of the fall and check for physical injuries. We begin the arduous task of doing Neurological obs.

Physical signs are bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth.

Swelling around any part of the body.

Broken bones.

Neurological obs are taken over a 24 hour period and involve charting…

Eyes, reaction to light and pupil size.

Any weakness in either side of the body.

Response to our questions.

Patient awareness to time and space unless they are not able to vocalise this due to dementia etc..

Blood pressure.




These Neuro obs are taken every 15 minutes for the first 4 hours.

Then half hourly for the next for hours.

Then hourly and then 4 hourly.

If any specific problems arise it will be after the first hour post fall (unless it is observed immediately) so we must  monitor the patient closely and prevent further falls.

Giving medications which cause drowsiness, such as sleeping tablets, antispyschotic medications etc must be reviewed and their use carefully measured as the patient can easily be mistaken for a brain injury when they are actually suffering from the effects of a sedative.

Researchers are now stating anyone who suffers from a concussion due to a head injury should rest for a week.

This allows their brain to recover.. The worst case scenario is a form of dementia in later life..  Look at Muhammad Ali, the world famous boxer.  He is now suffering from Parkinsons disease. Footballers are also at risk of this too and there is a couple of them here in Australia who have been told they have Parkinsons disease/dementia due to severe brain injuries whilst playing their favourite sports.

Children are particularly clumsy and quite often fall/trip and hit their little heads..

If this is a regular occurrence with your child,you may want to ask yourself why? Why are they tripping over so much? Do they wear correct and properly fitting shoes? Do they have orthopaedic problems? Are they so tired in the day time due to lack of sleep they are not able to get through their day without tripping and falling? Sometimes this is the answer..

Does your child go to a day care centre, Kindy or school? Do they get enough rest whilst there?

How much sleep do they get at night?

Do the day care workers observe them and prevent them from running especially if they are prone to falls etc…?

Is there a particular time of the day these children fall over? There could be a pattern.

If your child has a fall and hits their head I would advise you to take them to see the doctor asap and get them checked out. The doctor will check their neurological responses and give you advice on how to care for them at home. Make sure they get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep in babies can cause seizures too.. Didn’t know that did you?

So if you have a child who has had a fall and hit their head or just hit their head on anything, keep an eye on them for the first 24 hours. Look for either sided weakness in their grip, with their legs (can they lift their legs up in the air). Is their grip the same on both hands and can they lift their legs up one at a time to the same height?

Do they sleep too much? Are they overly drowsy? Not able to wake them “as usual”..

Is their facial expression vague? Do they forget things?

There are so many signs and symptoms of concussion from a hit to the head but you will know the capabilities of your child so keep an eye on them and get them to the doctor for a check up asap…..

I have witnessed a worst case scenario post fall and it is not pretty so I urge you to keep in contact with your doctor and document anything you can so you can show the doctor.

Doctors rely on our documentation so they can see what has been happening.. We keep the records and they get this information which helps them to diagnose the problem…

There is so much to it but this is it in short.

Marilyn xxx