A head wound refers to any type of trauma to various parts of the head due to a foreign or external force. There are different types of head wounds that you should be familiar with.
- Closed head wound occurs if a direct blow to the head is sustained in which the skull is not cracked open but there is damage to the brain since its surface struck the lining of the skull during impact.
- Penetrating wound occurs when a foreign object breaks the skull and enters the brain that can be caused by a gunshot wound or stab wound.
- Skull fractures can occur from a vehicular accident or fall.
The bleeding is always involved in any type of head injury. Minor bleeding can stop on its own without causing any serious damage. On the other hand, major bleeding would require immediate emergency care. Always remember that the head is a delicate part of the body. It is vital to bear in mind that any head wound must be considered as an emergency whether it is a minor one.
Immediate treatment for head wounds
Initially, you have to call for emergency assistance and attend to the individual right away. Do not apply pressure if the following are present:
- Blood or clear fluid leaking from the ears or nose
- Eye injury
- Visible fragments of bones in injured area
- Obvious deformity or dent on any part of the head.
If there is an object in the wound, instruct the individual to lie down with the head and shoulder elevated slightly. This must be done if there are no signs stated earlier. The injured area must not be cleaned. All you have to do is to clear any obstructions and leave the cleaning to the medical team.
With a clean towel or cloth, use it to press on the wound. You can apply pressure for 15 minutes. Avoid lifting the cloth until the bleeding subsides. In case the cloth is soaked with blood, place another cloth on top. Always remember that continuous pressure must be applied. If there is a penetrating object, do not apply pressure directly on the area, but apply it around the area.
Application of ice on head wounds
You have to elevate the head and shoulder of the individual and apply ice on the injured area to minimize the swelling. The application of ice is an initial measure to head wounds caused by minor falls such as a fall lower than the height of the individual or a fall landing on a soft surface.
Prepare the ice and a clean cloth or towel. You have to wrap the ice with the cloth or towel before it will be placed on the head. Take note that the cloth or towel functions as a shield between the skin of the scalp and ice to prevent ice burn from occurring.
The ice must be positioned safely on the swollen area of the head for 20-30 minutes. You can apply ice again every 2-3 hours as required.