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How do I treat a head injury after a car accident?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

After a vehicle collision, you and your passenger may sustain scalp wounds, skull fractures or a concussion. These head injuries can be fatal without proper medical attention.

If the injury is severe, you may need to apply first aid as you wait for emergency responders. Here’s what you need to know if you or your loved one sustained head wounds after a car crash.

First aid for head injuries

Check your companion’s breathing and airway to see if you need to initiate emergency lifesaving procedures, like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If they are unconscious, gently place your hands on both sides of their head to stabilize the head and spine.

If your loved one sustained lacerations or cuts, try to mitigate the bleeding by firmly pressing a cloth on the area. However, don’t do this step if you suspect a skull fracture and try not to move the injured’s head. This kind of wound can be delicate, so try not to touch it too much, even to remove any debris from the accident.

You should also prevent choking if the person is awake and vomiting. Support their head, neck and body as you gently roll them to their side. Moving these parts as a single unit helps protect their spine.

When to call 911

After a car crash, you should look for signs of severe head injury to know if first aid is needed. Call 911 immediately if you or your passenger vomits repeatedly or loses consciousness after the accident.

You will also need immediate medical attention if you cannot move a part of your body, like your arm or leg. Seizures, painful stiff neck and headaches are also symptoms of severe head injury.

If you go home after getting a checkup from a doctor but still experience increased nausea, vomiting, or excessive sleepiness, you should return to the hospital. Some symptoms of car crash injuries appear hours after the collision, so try to get help as soon as possible.