Bumps and bruises are a normal part of life. Whether running into the edge of the coffee table or the aftermath of a child who believes they can fly, many accidental situations have the potential for physical pain. In most circumstances, rest, ice, and medication can help address the most common situations.
Physical injury to parts of the body, such as the head, is another matter altogether and should be treated as such. It’s estimated that five million new head injuries occur each year.
The brain remains one of the body’s biggest mysteries. Despite ongoing research, there’s still much we have to learn about the brain. What we do know is that the soft tissue of the brain weighs approximately 3.4 pounds and it floats within cerebrospinal fluid. Three layers of membrane protect and cover the brain and injury to the area can occur any time the tissue is subjected to squeezing, pulling, stretching or violent movement. The brain is also susceptible to injuries classified as open or closed:
Closed injuries – contents of the brain and skull aren’t penetrated.
Open injuries – expose the brain and its membrane layers to the air.
As a result of any damage to the brain, the individual may experience headaches, bleeding, unconsciousness, drowsiness, swelling and bruising, vomiting, loss of memory and paralysis.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from an external physical force to the head and accounts for an increasing number of ER visits by young and old alike. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, someone in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury every 13 seconds.
TBI can result from a fall, assault with a weapon or object, or a car accident and is different than an internal injury to the brain caused by a stroke or tumor. The Brain Injury Association of America states that falls account for the majority of TBI at 40%. Being struck accounts for 15.5%, motor vehicles accidents 14.3%, and assault 10.7%. The remaining 19% of cases remain unknown in origin.
Keep in mind, someone with a brain injury will not be in a good condition to decide whether or not they need critical care. A hospital is the only place to assess if there is internal bleeding in the brain and what type of medical attention is required. Bleeding can cause pressure in critical parts of the brain and could affect areas responsible for governing breathing and heart rate.
Having one or more of the following symptoms should immediately prompt a hospital visit:
Fulton Medical Center is a 37-bed facility and the only acute care hospital located in Fulton, Missouri, and Callaway County offering Emergency Medicine services. At Fulton Medical Center you’ll receive quality care from community-based physicians and benefit from a low patient-to-nurse ratio. The updated center offers 24-hour ER services, physical therapy, surgical services, respiratory, radiology, diagnostic imaging, labs and geriatric behavioral health services.
Fulton Medical Center 10 South Hospital Drive Fulton, MO 65251
p: +1 (573) 642-3376 f: +1 (573) 592-6662 f: +1 (573) 592-6678 (Medical Records)
Kingdom Senior Solutions 10 South Hospital Drive Fulton, MO 65251
p: +1 (573) 826-2745 f: +1 (573) 592-6749
If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1 (573) 642-3376 (TTY: 7-1-1).
si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1 (573) 642-3376 (TTY: 7-1-1).