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|Brain Trauma from Whiplash|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Fires and burns
- Other physical assault
- Fire, flood, earthquake, lightening, or other natural disaster
- Contact sports
- Electrical shock
- Animal attacks
- Plane crashes
- Not wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle
- Drinking alcohol and driving a vehicle or boat
- Cell phone use (especially texting), or other distractions while driving
- Improper use or storage of firearms
- Unsafe home conditions that can lead to falls, such as unsecured area rugs, wet floors, cords running across the middle of the room, or poorly lit halls and stairwells
- Not wearing proper protective equipment while playing sports, or while working with or using dangerous equipment (like a chainsaw)
- Improper use of dangerous machinery, such as powertools, chainsaws, lawn mowers, or snowblowers
- Fighting with fists or weapons, especially after drinking alcohol
- Improper car seat use that results in a child falling from an elevated surface, or the occupied car seat flipping or rolling
- Not using smoke detectors or not changing dead batteries in a timely manner
- Swimming alone or without previous lessons
- Not watching your child while they are swimming
- Not using lifejackets while swimming or boating
- Improper fencing or locks around swimming pools
- Approaching an animal unsafely or aggressively
- Pain, with or without swelling
- External (visible) or internal (not visible) bleeding
- Breathing problems
- Headache, nausea, vomiting, amnesia, or altered mental status
- Visible deformity, which may occur with a fracture
- Loss of feeling and/or muscle strength
- Changes in bowel or bladder function, including inability to urinate or have a bowel movement
- Loss of consiousness
- Blood pressure measurement
- Respiratory monitoring
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
Immobilize and Stabilize the Injury
- Splinting or bracing
- A breathing tube for a blocked airway
- IV fluids
- Mechanical ventilation to take over breathing
- Nutritional support
- Admission to the hospital for monitoring
- Vascular surgery to control bleeding
- Neurosurgery to repair the spinal cord, brain, and/or nerves
- Creating a tracheostomy to restore or improve breathing—this may be temporary or permanent
- Repairing or connecting broken bones with wires, screws, or plates
- Reconstructive or plastic surgery
- Debridement (removing dead tissue) and skin grafting for severe burns
- Creating a urostomy or colostomy to restore bladder and bowel function—this may be temporary or permanent
Recovery and Rehabilitation
- Physical therapy—to maintain or regain as much movement as possible
- Occupational therapy—to assist in everyday tasks and self-care
- Respiratory therapy—to assist with breathing
- Speech and swallowing therapy
- Psychological therapy—to improve mood and decrease depression
- Always use seat belts.
- Never drive or operate any equipment while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Certain medications can be dangerous as well.
- Do not use a cell phone while driving.
- Keep poisons, medication, and cleaning supplies locked up. Keep them away from small children.
- Teach children to swim. Teach all family members about water safety.
- Never swim alone, always swim with a buddy.
- Develop a fire safety plan.
- Make sure all alarm and fire equipment is up to date such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers.
- If you have firearms in the house, make sure they are kept unloaded. Keep them in a locked location.
- Wear helmets while biking.
- Wear the right safety equipment for all sports and recreation activities.
- Wear appropriate protective gear when using power tools.
- Help prevent falls in the home. Install night-lights, grab bars, and hand rails.
- Avoid putting yourself at risk for an accident, violence, or other physical trauma.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2015
- Update Date: 12/28/2015