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Q.

How do I know when a head injury is bad enough to see a doctor?

My husband hit his head at work. Right side, lower part of the head. Its swollen from the middle back of his head to the right ear.Has a terriable headache, took advil and did ok sleeping. When he woke up this morning, his head was pounding as if he has a Migrain. Not sure if I should worry or let it go as if it was a normal bump on the head. How do you tell the difference between a knot or a we need a doctor knot..I dont feel fluid.Swelling is ecactly the same. not bigger or smaller.

Related Topics: Migraine, Headache, Ears, Head, Head Injury
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

General Medicine
Nursing
1,315 Answers
22,297 Helpful Votes
244 Followers
A.
My short answer to your question is this: Any time you've got a lump on the head, and you're worried about it, it's OK to go see the doctor.

A major point I want to make is this: Never, ever take a blood-thinning pain reliever, such as Advil (ibuprofen, also goes by the name Motrin), aspirin (brand names Excedrin, Bufferin, Anacin, etc.), or naproxyn (brand names Alleve, Naprosyn), after hitting your head. These medications can cause bleeding, which could turn a not-so-serious injury into a very serious injury.

I'm glad your husband seems to be doing fine, and it's always better for the swelling to be on the outside of the skull than the inside. However, if your husband has dilated pupils (the black dots at the center of his eyeball), slurred speech, or loss of balance, you should take him to the doctor right away. These can be signs of a more serious head injury.

With a bruise the size you're describing, it's likely your husband has suffered a concussion. These may range from mild to severe. Again, if you have any concerns about the extent of his head injury, your safest bet is always to seek medical attention.Since it's been more than 24 hours since the accident, you don't need to rush to the emergency room. But you definitely can get evaluated at an urgent care facility or ask your primary care provider to work your husband in for an appointment soon.

Best wishes to you!

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