Cork Emergency Departments
Common complaints following a head injury are:
- mild headache
- being easily annoyed
- poor concentration
- poor sleep
- memory problems
- difficulty socialising
If these complaints are getting worse or you are concerned about them after two weeks you should see your own doctor.
Head injury observation instructions for parents and guardians
Following a head injury, your child should be kept under observation for the next 24 hours. If any concern arises that he/she is developing a problem, please seek advice from your GP or this Emergency Department or, if necessary, make arrangements to bring him/her back to hospital by ambulance, taxi or car.
The signs that you should look out for are:
- Increasing drowsiness or confusion
- Persisting headache
- Weakness of one or more limbs
- Difficulty in seeing or breathing
- Continuous discharge or bleeding from ear, nose or mouth
- Any other abnormal behaviour
When your child is sleeping, you should observe every few hours to establish:
- Does he/she appear to be breathing normally?
- Is he/she sleeping in a normal posture?
- Does he/she make the expected response when you rouse him/her gently?
- (e.g. pulling up sheets, cuddling teddy-bear)
- If you cannot satisfy yourself that your child is sleeping normally, he/she should be wakened fully to be checked
Some extra advice for the patient to help you get well:
Following this advice will help your child to recover more quickly, and it may stop some of the symptoms from happening.
- Do encourage plenty of rest and avoid stressful and noisy situations
- Do NOT play contact sport for at least three weeks without talking to your doctor first
- IRFU concussion guidelines 2014 (print version)