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Injury Prevention and Safety

A bump on the head

12/27/2006

Question:

How hard do you have to hit your head in order to suffer from possible sympyoms of a concussion? I know someone who was walking and pushing a broom and while walking ran into a piece of equipment which was at head level. It knocked him down and dazed him. His head has been sore but he sufferred from no other apparent symptoms for a few days. Then after about a week or so, he now seems to be suffering from dizziness and he is nauseous. There is not evidence of a bruise on his head or a bump of any kind that can be seen. Do you think it is possible that there is a problem? He said he has pain behind his ear which is not anywhere near where he bumped his head.

Answer:

This is not my area of expertise, nor do I see appropriate experts within Netwellness to whom to refer your question. However, anytime someone really hits his or her head hard in one specific location, there is a rebound injury opposite the location of the contact injury. That may be the case here. The injury at the opposite side of the brain can be worse than that directly affected by the blow to the head. Given the symptoms of dizziness and nausea that often accompany brain swelling from injury, I strongly recommend that this person seek medical care now.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University