Brain Trauma—When to go to the ER

As the winter season sets in, more and more people are going outside to enjoy winter sports and activities with their friends and family. The risk of injury may slightly increase, so it is important to be able to identify the worrisome symptoms. Head injury and brain trauma symptoms are especially crucial to know about, as this type of injury can be life threatening.

Head injuries are caused by trauma to the scalp, skull, or brain and can be very dangerous. Concussions are the most common type of head injury and occur when the brain is jarred hard enough to bounce against the skull. A concussion can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain and have long-term effects if left untreated. Other traumatic brain injuries include a contusion, which is a bruise on the brain that causes swelling or a hematoma, and skull fractures.

Head injuries that appear to be more serious than a concussion require emergency medical treatment. Warning signs may include:

  • Convulsions
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Distorted facial features
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe headache
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to move one or more limbs
  • Low breathing rate
  • Memory loss
  • Double or fuzzy vision

If you notice some of these symptoms after a fall or accident, seek medical attention immediately. It’s important to consider when choosing an ER for brain trauma, that your ER is a Trauma III Utah designated ER Trauma Center, so that injuries can be treated by trauma specialists immediately.