Call an ambulance if a casualty has hit their head and is suffering from any of the following:
- They are unconsciousness
- Experiencing abnormal breathing
- Have an obvious serious wound or suspected skull fracture
- They are bleeding or clear fluid from the nose, ear or mouth
- They experience a lack of co-ordination
- Have disturbed speech or vision
- Their pupils are of unequal size
- They have weakness or paralysis
- They suffer neck pain or stiffness
- Are having a seizure or are fitting
- Experiencing dizziness or vomiting
If the casualty is unconscious
- If they are breathing, roll them into the recovery position (on their side so that their tongue falls forward in their mouth and any vomit can drain away), trying not to twist their neck or spine at all. Any head injury may well have caused spinal damage as the head recoils from the blow.
- If they are not breathing start CPR. Learn how to perform CPR here.
- Call for an ambulance.
If the casualty is conscious and has a serious head injury
- Phone for an ambulance
- Do your best to keep the casualty calm and still – make sure they do not twist, as they could have a spinal injury
- If there is bleeding, grab a clean cloth and apply pressure
- Do not attempt to clean the wound as it could make things worse
- Do not apply forceful direct pressure to the wound if you suspect the skull is fractured
- Do not remove any object that’s stuck in the wound
First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a first aid course or do one online to understand what to do in a medical emergency.
Introducing a comprehensive guide to accident prevention and treatment in the older generation; Slips, Trips and Fractured Hips by Emma Hammett RGN. This book has been written for people caring for older friends and relatives; children caring for elderly parents, for spouses, for older people wanting to keep themselves that bit safer and for anyone working with or caring for older people. It is designed to help you take measures to prevent life-threatening injuries and help you plan, prepare and avoid mishap, as well as equip you with the necessary skills should an accident occur.