Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Call 911 or activate your local emergency response service should any person
sustain a significant head injury. This includes all persons with loss of
consciousness who do not immediately waken and return to normal as well as those
who show signs of weakness or numbness on one side of their body, complain of
difficulty speaking, or have vision loss. These are the same symptoms as a
person having a stroke.
Mechanism of injury is also an important consideration. Persons in a motor
vehicle collision or who have fallen from a height should be kept still with
their neck protected, in case there is an associated spinal cord injury.
Other symptoms that should prompt seeking medical care include confusion,
loss of short-term memory, and repeated
A less specific symptom but one that can also be used with children is to
decide whether the person is acting like his or herself. This is a subtle and
non specific way of evaluating an injured person, but if there is concern that
they are not acting "normal", medical care should be accessed.
Persons with head injuries who are impaired because of alcohol or drugs
should be brought for medical attention and evaluation.
Those who are taking prescription blood thinning medications such as
warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran etexilate
enoxaparin (Lovenox), and
heparin should seek medical care for all head injuries,
even if it is very minor.