A head wound can be one of two injuries: a closed wound that results in bruising or swelling, or an open wound that bleeds. Some head wounds both bleed and swell. When you receive a head wound, the injury can appear serious because a large lump can form over the injured area or cause profuse bleeding.
You should always take head wounds seriously, but, in many cases, you can treat this type of injury by applying a cold compress to the area or cleaning out a mild wound with rubbing alcohol and applying an antibiotic to the injured scalp. However, a head wound should receive immediate medical care if any of the following symptoms are present or the following situations apply to the wounded person.
The Injury Won't Stop Bleeding
A head wound that results in an open tear in the scalp will usually bleed. If you can't contain the blood with slight pressure from a clean rag applied directly to the wound, then seek medical care at a nearby walkin urgent care clinic. Even a superficial wound can bleed for a long time.
Depending on the length and depth of the scalp wound, your urgent care specialist may recommend liquid stitches or sutures to treat the injured scalp.
The Injury Causes Confusion or Unconsciousness
Have a medical professional evaluate any head injury that is impactful enough to cause the victim severe dizziness, confusion, or unconsciousness - even for only a few seconds. A concussion, or brain trauma, is a serious concern. Vomiting, trouble keeping balance, or extreme headaches can also occur because of the injury.
Check the victim's pupils immediately after a head injury, even if they appear to be coherent. If the pupils are massively dilated, don't change when light shines on them, or are each different sizes, the injured person may have a concussion and needs urgent care.
A concussion can present itself days after a head injury occurs, so if the victim expresses delayed concussion symptoms, such as lethargy, irritability, nausea, or vomiting, take them to an urgent care doctor for a checkup of the injury.
The Injury Occurs in a Young or Old Victim
Head injuries kill over 2,000 children under 14 in the US every year, and individuals over 60 are at a greater risk for head injury complications. If the injury occurred in a very young or advanced age victim, seek urgent care regardless of how minor the injury first appears. An urgent care doctor will look for signs of brain swelling or internal bleeding in the victim that can be serious if not treated professionally.
The Injury Involves the Neck
You should give a head injury that also affects the neck immediate emergency care. A neck injury can be potentially dangerous, leading to paralysis and nerve damage in the spine.
If the injured person is able to stand and respond to their name, then take them to an urgent care clinic. If the victim cannot move following a neck and head injury or is unconscious, do not move the individual and call for emergency help to come to you.
Even if a head injury appears non-serious, you can take the victim to an urgent care clinic to have their vital signs checked. Your urgent care doctor will tell you how to continue treating a head wound at home if the injury is not a medical emergency.
Head injuries are common in children and adults alike, and knowing how to care for this type of injury will help you be prepared to treat the situation. For all your medical and urgent care needs, rely on our services at Walking Urgent Clinic today.