Brain injuries, whether minor or severe, require immediate and skilled attention. There are critical steps to be taken immediately following a suspected brain injury to ensure a more favorable outcome. The actions taken in the moments and hours following an injury can significantly impact the patient’s recovery and long-term health.
This article delves into the ten immediate steps after a suspected brain injury.
Step 1: Ensure Safety And Assess the Situation
First and foremost, ensure the safety of both the injured person and those around them. Move the individual away from any immediate danger, such as oncoming traffic or a hazardous environment, but be cautious not to move them unnecessarily, as this can worsen spinal injuries. Lastly, quickly assess the situation for any visible signs of injury or distress.
Step 2: Call Emergency Services
Without delay, call 911 or the local emergency number. Provide clear information about the location and nature of the injury. If the injured person is suspected of having a brain injury, communicate this crucial information to the emergency responders. Mention any other injuries or symptoms observed, such as unconsciousness, bleeding, or seizures.
Remember, in cases where an individual has sustained severe brain injury, specialized care and attention from medical and legal professionals are required. This is because the sooner it’s received, the better the chances of physical and financial recovery.
Step 3: Monitor Breathing And Consciousness
While awaiting the arrival of emergency services, continuously monitor the injured individual’s breathing and consciousness levels. It’s crucial to ensure they don’t consume any food or drink, as ingestion can lead to serious complications, especially if surgery is required later. If the person is unconscious, immediately check their breathing.
Should they cease to breathe, and you’re trained in CPR, promptly commence resuscitation efforts. This vigilant monitoring can be lifesaving.
Step 4: Prevent Further Injury
In cases of suspected brain injury, minimize the injured individual’s movement unless absolutely necessary, such as to remove them from immediate danger. If moving them is unavoidable, extreme caution and gentle handling are needed to prevent exacerbating any existing injuries, particularly those to the spine. Make sure to stabilize the head and neck carefully to avoid further damage. This careful approach is essential in managing potential spinal injuries alongside brain injury.
Step 5: Observe And Document Symptoms
It’s vital to closely observe and document any changes in the injured person’s symptoms. Be alert for signs like confusion, difficulty in speaking, problems with vision, or a loss of coordination. These symptoms can indicate the severity and nature of the brain injury. Remember, accurate and detailed observation of these symptoms can provide crucial information to healthcare professionals upon their arrival, aiding in prompt and effective treatment.
Step 6: Apply First Aid If Trained
If you’re trained in first aid, evaluate for head injuries and administer appropriate care while waiting for emergency responders. This may include controlling bleeding using clean bandages or cloths. However, refrain from making medical diagnoses or administering medications unless you’re qualified to do so. Providing first aid can be instrumental in stabilizing the individual’s condition, but it’s crucial to do so within the bounds of your training to avoid causing further harm.
Step 7: Comfort And Reassure
When dealing with a brain injury situation, your demeanor can significantly impact the injured person’s state of mind. Therefore, offer comfort and reassurance while maintaining overall safety. Stay calm, speak in a soothing tone, and avoid making unrealistic promises. Let the injured individual know that help is on the way to provide them with a sense of security and may help keep them calm during this critical time.
Step 8: Collect Information For First Responders
In a brain injury emergency, gathering information about the injured person’s medical history, known allergies, and any medications they’re currently taking can be incredibly valuable. This information can greatly assist emergency responders in providing effective and timely medical care. If possible, collect this data quickly and accurately, as it could influence the treatment decisions made by the medical team upon their arrival.
Step 9: Assist Emergency Responders
Upon the arrival of emergency responders, your role shifts to assisting them. Provide them with all the relevant information you’ve collected about the injured person. Follow their instructions closely and offer any assistance they might need. Your cooperation and accurate relay of information are crucial, as they can significantly impact the speed and effectiveness of the care provided to the injured individual.
Step 10: Follow Up And Support
After the initial emergency phase, your role may extend to offering support to the injured individual and their family. If you’re in close contact, staying informed about their recovery and offering your presence can be comforting. It’s essential to understand that recovery from a brain injury can be a prolonged and challenging process is essential. Therefore, offer your patience and support throughout this journey to the injured person and their loved ones as it can be immensely beneficial.
Dealing with a suspected brain injury can be daunting, but knowing the right steps to take can make a significant difference. Quick, informed actions can save lives and improve the chances of recovery. By keeping the steps mentioned above in mind, individuals can deal with such emergencies with adequate preparedness and knowledge.
Source: Cosmo Politian