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The doctor will make sure that there are no severe or life-threatening injuries first and then will further evaluate the severity of the head injury.
History of the injury: If you can, give the doctor the following details about the injury:
Past medical history: Tell the doctor about the history of any of the following:
During the physical examination, the doctor will:
Many times people are concerned about a cut (laceration) on the scalp or face, and the doctor may not seem to take much notice. These cuts may bleed and appear serious, but severe or life-threatening bleeding from such a cut is rare and would be recognized right away. The doctor's main concern will be to assure that there is not serious brain damage, or a neck or torso injury. The cut can be repaired later.
Looking inside: The best way to evaluate a person's head injury is with a CT scan. This machine takes cross-sectional X-rays of the head (or other body parts), and a computer reassembles the information into images to let the doctor see details of the inside of the body. When a CT scan is used for a head injury, the doctor will look for evidence of bleeding under the skull or within the brain tissue itself.
In the past, concussions were commonly graded on a scale according to severity. Most commonly, concussions are referred to as symptomatic or asymptomatic (meaning that symptoms are or are not present, respectively). Neurologists may do further testing to grade a concussion's severity.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/11/2014
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