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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

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From Babble:

Head injury signs in babies 

Two weeks ago we took a trip to San Diego so my husband could attend a conference and Eli and I could play by the ocean. On the last day we were there, I was hanging out in our hotel room, trying to keep Eli awake just a little while longer when it happened. We were sitting on the hotel bed, I bent over to get his pacifier and before I could blink, Eli hit the floor head first.

It was apparent from the moment of the injury that he wasn’t okay. He couldn’t hold his head up, wouldn’t open his eyes, and was moaning in pain. We ended up going to a local children’s hospital by ambulance, which is a situation I never thought we’d be in. Once at the hospital, they looked at Eli’s head and neck, took a neck x-ray and said he was fine, but that he might have a sore neck. We were told that kids fall off furniture all the time and to not worry, just give him some Motrin and he’d be okay.

But he wasn’t.

Later that day, Eli began profusely vomiting and having trouble staying awake. We went to a different hospital where a CT scan showed that he had a subdural hematoma. It’s a fancy way of saying that he was bleeding on his brain. It’s true that kids fall off beds and changing tables every day and the majority of them are fine, but my son got much more than a bump on the head- he got a mild traumatic brain injury. Since being discharged from the hospital last week he’s had a few mild seizures and continues to vomit periodically, but thankfully, he’s otherwise pretty much back to normal. We were lucky.

Thankfully we knew when to return to the hospital because this particular injury, and several other types of head injuries, have a high rate of morbidity and mortality when left untreated. In light of what we learned, I thought I’d share a few signs that you should take very seriously when it comes to head injuries in people of all ages so that hopefully none of you face that period of uncertainty that we did.

  1. Loss of Consciousness -- This can be either at the time of the injury or later that same day,
  2. Vomiting -- Blood and pressure on the brain can result in repeated and intractable vomiting,
  3. Sleepiness -- there's a line where normal nap or stress related sleepiness becomes head injury sleepiness,
  4. Pupil Size Differences -- One eye may respond to light differently than the other, or the pupils may just be different sizes without any change in lights,
  5. Confusion -- It can be hard to tell if a baby is confused, but in older kids, changes in speech, difficulty with word finding, difficulty with normal daily activities may be a sign of confusion, and
  6. Gut Feeling -- Never ignore your intuition, it can be one of the most valuable medical tools.  
Link to Babble.

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