Prevention and Emergency Treatment of TBI

Posted on January 14, 2022

Preventing head injuries is not possible always, but some actions can help decrease the risk. 

An injury to the head can have long-term consequences, so it is essential to take precautions when necessary.

You Can Prevent TBI

Here are many ways to reduce the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury. 

  1. Wear a seat belt when you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  2. Avoid driving when drinking or intoxicated.
  3. Wear a helmet, or appropriate headgear, when you or your children:
    • Ride a motorcycle, bike, scooter, snowmobile, or use an all-terrain vehicle;
    • Play contact sports, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing;
    • Roller skate or ride a skateboard;
    • Bat and run bases in softball or baseball;
    • Riding a horse; or
    • Ski or snowboard.
  4. Prevent Older Adult Falls: Talk to your doctor to understand your risk for falling, and discuss with them about specific things you can do to reduce your risk for a fall.
  5. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy. This should include prescription drugs, OTC medicines, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
  6. Have your eyes checked at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses if needed.
  7. Do strength and balance exercises to strengthen your legs and improve your balance.
  8. Make your home safer.
  9. Make living and play areas safer for children
  10. Install window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows.
  11. Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
  12. Make sure your child’s playground has soft material under it, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

Treatment and first aid

  1. To reduce swelling, a cold pack can help
  2. Often, people can treat mild head injuries at home. Apply a cold pack at the site of the injury.
  3. Also, a person can take Tylenol but must avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen unless  prescribed by a doctor
  4. After a mild head injury in the first 24 hours, the injured person should be checked on a regular basis.
  5. If a person shows signs of confusion or memory loss or loses consciousness, it is crucial to visit a healthcare specialist.
  6. Avoid driving, playing sports, and using drugs or alcohol, after a head injury. Taking time off from everyday routine can help focus on recovery. 
  7. Severe head injuries need medical attention immediately. The first response to a severe head injury is to call for immediate medical assistance from your local emergency number. until them moving the victim is unnecessary. 
  8.  Severe head injuries can often mean long-term hospitalization and an even longer rehabilitation time.

Take  the following first-aid steps while waiting for emergency medical help to arrive:

  • While keeping still, make sure the patient is lying down with their head and shoulders elevated. Ensure minimal movement especially the head and neck. Keep the helmet on unless immediate medical care is provided.  
  • A clean cloth or sterilized gauze would be sufficient to stop bleeding wounds but applying direct pressure to a fractured skull can worsen the case. 
  • Watch for changes in breathing and alertness. Perform CPR if no circulation is suspected — no breathing, coughing, or movement.
  • A medical professional should evaluate head trauma that results in concussion symptoms, such as nausea, unsteadiness, headaches, or difficulty concentrating.

Taking the above preventive measures and knowing what to do in case of an emergency situation arises is crucial in preventing and initial treatment of a TBI.