Traumatic brain injury, or more commonly called head injury, describes a variety of injuries to the scalp, skull, brain and underlying tissue and blood vessels in the head.
In Singapore, head injury occurs commonly after motor vehicle accidents, falls at home or at work, acts of violence, sports and recreational injuries. It is also the leading cause of disabilities and deaths in adults under 40 years of age. As a result, it has a signicant impact on the patient, family and society.
The young, elderly, people who take blood thinners and those with problems such as alcohol abuse are prone to serious consequences after a head injury.
These symptoms may occur immediately or develop slowly over several hours to days. Even if no serious injury is found, careful observation by a responsible adult must occur in the first 24 – 48 hours after the injury.
For the first 24 hours after a head injury, the person SHOULD NOT:
Call for help and go to the Emergency Department if:
Based on a physical examination. A Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the brain is ordered if there are risks of bleeding.
Head injury can be mild to severe, and damage to the brain may occur immediately at the time of injury, or develop after the injury due to swelling or further bleeding.
Treatment is individualised, depending on the type, degree and extent of injury.
The common types of head injury and treatment are:
Figure 1Depressed skull fracture
Figure 2Contusion or bruising in the brain
Figure 3Bleeding from artery (Epidural haematoma)
Figure 4Bleeding from vein (Subdural haematoma)
Adopt the following wound care methods:
Support for Head Injury
The NNI Head Injury Support Group helps patients and their families understand the condition and how it impacts them. To join the support group, contact TBI_enquiries@nni.com.sg.
Download Head Injury brochure
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