Head injuries are among the most common causes of death and disability in adults. The term "head injury" is broad, and it can refer to anything from bumps and bruises on the head to traumatic brain injuries.
Some of the more significant types of head injuries that adults may face if they're involved in a collision include:
- Skull fractures
- Intracranial hematomas
These can cause serious issues for years after the injury.
Skull fractures are fractures that break the skull bone in one or more places. They can take a few forms from linear skull fractures to depressed or diastatic. Basilar is another form. Each type has differences. For example, linear fractures break the bone but don't move it. Depressed push inward. Diastatic happen along the suture lines from when people were children and the skull fused together. Basilar happen at the base of the skull and are the most serious.
Concussions are injuries to the head that cause a loss of alertness or awareness. This loss of functionality can last for minutes to hours after an injury occurs.
Intracranial hematoma is just a fancy way to say a blood clot. They occur when arteries burst due to impact or other stressors. Epidurals occur under the skull but on top of the dura. Subdural hematomas occur under the dura but outside the brain. Intracerebral hematomas are bruises on the brain.
These are a few of the head injuries that you could suffer if you're involved in a car crash.
What should you do if you hit your head during a crash?
If you are involved in a crash and hit your head, you need to go to the hospital right away. One of the scary things about the way the body reacts to collisions and injuries is that your body will be filled with adrenaline and other fight-or-flight chemicals. These help you survive the shock of a serious injury, but they can also hide the fact that your body is suffering.
If you go to the hospital and have an exam, you may be surprised to find out that you have a head injury that has not yet fully presented itself. If there is bleeding on the brain or other serious injuries are present, then the medical team needs this additional time to help plan a treatment that will give you the best chance of a full recovery. Time is of the essence when you suffer a head injury, so always choose to go to the hospital.