The other day, Nigeria was stunned with sad news about the death of Nigeria’s First Female Combat Pilot -Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile in Kaduna. The reported apparent cause of death was head trauma as she was hit by a classmate while the car was in reverse.
The news hit family, friends and fans hard as Tolulope, like many young & vibrant Nigerians, had a very bright future ahead of her. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.
Head Trauma can be a silent killer. Most victims of head trauma assume they can walk it off or resume after a short rest, but the reality is – head trauma can be deadly.
In light of late Tolulope Arotile’s death, TW decided to create this piece of information to help you and those in your community better navigate head trauma cases. They are easy to misdiagnose and sometimes might seem trivial, but head trauma is not to be taken lightly.
Here are some signs to watch out for when dealing with major and minor head trauma cases.
Minor Head Trauma
After any type of minor trauma to the head, it is normal to feel dizzy or experience mild headaches. However, there are a few things to watch out for to ensure the trauma doesn’t lead to/is a sign of something more serious.
In case of any minor head trauma, you should;
- Rest & avoid any form of stress.
- Take Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to ease the headache. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN as this can cause any injury to bleed.
- Hold an ice pack or a frozen bag in a tea towel to the point of force for short periods over the next couple of days. This will help reduce any swelling.
- Have someone stay with & watch you or the individual for the first 24 hours. If there are any irregularities in breathing, consciousness or focus, seek immediate medical attention.
NOTE: Do not do the following;
- Return to work or any strenuous activity right after.
- Drink & Drive or play contact sports or any rough activity for at least 3 weeks or until you have fully recovered.
- Take sleeping pills unless prescribed by a Doctor.
Major Head Trauma
In the case of any major head trauma, the first point of call is to tale the situation very seriously as this could lead to brain damage. This is the case where there’s been a road accident, a terrible fall, head-first collision etc.
To further determine if you’re dealing with a case of Major Head Trauma, look out for these symptoms;
- Unconsciousness: Here, the person might have collapsed or become unresponsive.
- Concussion: In this case, the person might have short bursts of mental function or appear dazed or confused.
- Fits or seizures
- Difficulty staying awake or speaking.
- Blood or clear fluid coming from ears, nose; repeated vomiting
- Memory loss
- Difficulty in coordination
- Sudden swelling or bruising around both eyes or behind the ear.
In any case of major head trauma, you should do these immediately;
- Call emergency services immediately. Try not to move the person except there is still eminent danger. Moving the person at this time could worsen the injury. Only do so if important.
- Stop any bleeding immediately. Do not apply direct pressure to the injury if you suspect a skull fracture.
- Watch for irregular signs: If the injured person shows signs of irregular breathing coughing or lack of movement, engage CPR. Click here for a How-To.
Also, remember to keep a First-Aid kit closeby and eliminate all trip hazards like loose carpets, or unnecessary objects on the floor.
Photo Credit: RawPixel.com
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