If someone has a head injury, they should be under regular observation for 24 hours. This means that another adult should stay with them to check their symptoms.
If you're looking after a family member, friend or a person you care for, make sure they can:
- tell you their name
- tell you where they are
- tell you who you are
- move all their limbs normally
Symptoms after a mild head injury
Common symptoms after a head injury are:
- feeling dizzy
- feeling tired
- feeling irritable
- poor concentration and memory
It is important to see a GP if these symptoms are severe or last more than 2 weeks.
Most people's symptoms get better within 6 weeks.
Go straight to A&E if the person with the head injury:
- is drowsy (sleepy) or confused
- finds it difficult to understand what is happening, speak, read or write
- is being sick (vomiting)
- has a persistent (long-lasting) or severe headache
- cannot see well (vision problems)
- has weak arms or legs, or cannot feel them
- has fits, convulsions (shaking movements that they cannot control) or a blackout
- has blood or fluid coming from their ears or nose
Recovering after your head injury
It is important to have lots of rest and take simple painkillers (such as paracetamol) if you need them.
Check that the painkillers do not react with any other medicines you take and follow the instructions on the packet.
- make sure you have plenty of rest and sleep
- take painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen (if you are allowed), for your headache
- go back to work gradually as you start to get better
- do not drink any alcohol for the first 48 hours
- do not operate machinery or drive a car, motorbike or bicycle until your concentration is back to normal
- do not use computers or watch television for more than 30 minutes at a time because this can make your symptoms worse