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Head Injury (cont.)

Head Injury Prevention

  • Falls are the number one cause of head injuries. Some, like toddlers falling when learning to walk, are unavoidable. Others may be preventable, especially in the elderly. Opportunities exist to minimize the risk of falling at home with the use of proper floor coverings, the use of assist devices such as canes and walkers, and by evaluating homes for high risk areas like bathrooms and stairs. A primary care health care practitioner or a county health nurse may be able to help with home assessment.
  • Routine use of helmets may decrease head injury while riding a bicycle or motorcycle. Their use is also encouraged for sporting activities like skateboarding, skiing, and snowboarding.
  • Head injuries are a major consequence of motor vehicle crashes. Lives can be saved by wearing seatbelts, driving cars with air bags, and by avoiding risky driving behavior (drinking and driving, texting while driving).

Head Injury Prognosis: Outlook and Recovery

The recovery from head injury depends upon the amount of damage inflicted upon the brain. Not surprisingly, the brain cannot recover from severe injury, but the goal of treatment is to return as much function as possible.

Of note is that concussion, once thought to be relatively minor, may have more long-term effects than initially appreciated and should not be ignored.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology


American Academy of Pediatrics.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury.

Stiel IG, et al. The Canadian CT Head Rule for Patients with Minor Head Injury. Lancet 2001;357:1391-96.

S.A. Schutzman, MD, P. Barnes MD, A. Duhaime, MD, D. Greenes, MD, C. Homer, MD, D. Jaffe, MD, R. J. Lewis, MD, PHD, T. G. Luerssen, MD, J. Schunk, MD; "Evaluation and Management of Children Younger Than Two Years Old With Apparently Minor Head Trauma: Proposed Guidelines." Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Vol. 107 No. 5

Wolfson AB. Harwood-Nuss' Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2009.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/4/2015

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Head Injury »

Head injury can be defined as any alteration in mental or physical functioning related to a blow to the head.

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