After getting into a crash, it is likely you will end up with some form of head injury even if you took recommended safety precautions like wearing your seatbelt. Unfortunately, injuries to the skull and brain serve as some of the most common in many types of crashes.
But skull fractures differ from impact injuries to the brain in several ways. They can also serve as a more immediate risk, prompting quick medical attention if you notice the red flags. But what exactly are these warning signs?
Signs of a skull fracture
Merck Manual examines skull fractures and how the symptoms manifest. First, you will likely see the emergence of neurological symptoms almost immediately. This is especially true if part of the soft brain tissue has ended up damaged by the skull, or even bits of the skull that dislodge in the fracture.
These symptoms will manifest differently in every person depending on the severity of the injury and its location among other things, but some of the most common include:
- Partial or full paralysis of some or all limbs
- Total body paralysis
- Inability to recognize surroundings or people
- Excruciating headaches
- Repeated vomiting
Internal bleeding and CSF
On top of that, blood can pool in the hollow spaces of the skull, resulting in exterior bruising. You can check for these bruises behind the ears and around the eyes. You may also notice blood coming from the ears, which can happen if blood builds up behind the eardrum and bursts through it. A clear fluid known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may also leak from the nose or ears.
Any of these signs indicate potentially serious problems and require rapid medical treatment to prevent long-term damages.