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WHAT DO TO IF YOU HIT YOUR HEAD

In the wake of Bob Saget's tragic death from an accidental head trauma, a doctor shares what you need to know about head injuries.


“The authorities have determined that Bob passed from head trauma,” Saget’s family said in a statement to NBC News. “They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved.”

Dr. John Torres, NBC’s senior medical correspondent, spoke with TODAY about warning signs to look for after hitting your head, and how to tell whether that simple bump may actually be more serious.

How do you know if a head injury is serious?

Almost everyone has bumped their head on a door frame or a kitchen cabinet at some point, but how do you know if the injury is bad enough to go to the hospital? According to Torres, the below symptoms are telltale signs of a more serious issue:

  • A headache that continues after the injury or gets worse.

  • Visual disturbances, or pupils looking “a little off."

  • Dizziness, nausea or vomiting, particularly projectile vomiting.

  • Confusion.

If someone experiences any of the above symptoms persistently, that signals to Torres that they should be closely monitored. “They’re probably going to need a CAT scan of their head to make sure there isn’t any bleeding inside there,” he said, “because there can be subtle signs that build up over time and get to the point where they can’t really be taken care of.”

Will symptoms always show up right away after a head trauma?

After hitting your head, you may experience some initial symptoms such as a headache or confusion. These symptoms may soon subside, and you may think you are fine.

However, this does not mean the head injury isn’t serious, Torres warns. After a head trauma, you may experience an initial “lucid period” before things take a dangerous and possibly fatal turn," which includes a return to the heavier symptoms, above.

(credit: Today Show, 2/10/22)

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