What is a Head Wound?

A head wound is any cut, abrasion or trauma that has been inflicted on the head. Wounds can be classified as either closed or open. A closed injury means a person was hit on the head, but it did not break the skull. An open or penetrating injury means that a person was hit with something that broke the skull and entered the brain. This sort of wound typically happens when someone is involved in a serious accident, such as an automobile crash.

There are several types of brain injuries that can result from head wounds. A concussion, which is the most common head injury, is caused when the brain is shaken. A contusion, which is a bruise on the brain, is also a possibility whenever someone sustains a head wound.

All cuts and abrasions on the head are likely to bleed significantly because the scalp has many blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. The amount of blood may be frightening at first. However, if someone is around to get a look at the wound and can see that it is not very deep, it can be cared for at home.


To stop the bleeding of a head wound at home, have the injured person lie down. Remove any visible pieces of debris in the wound. Next, press firmly on the wound with cloth or gauze and apply steady pressure for 15 minutes. If the wound is still bleeding, try applying pressure again for another 15 minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped at this point, contact a doctor.

Do not apply pressure to the head if the skull is deformed. A head wound that results in dents in the skull, pieces of skull protruding, or exposed brain tissue is too serious to treat at home. If there is an eye injury or if there is clear liquid draining from the ears or nose, this is also an indication that the wound is too serious to be treated with home first aid.

If the wound has penetrated the skull, the injured person should obviously get to the emergency room immediately. If an injury is deep enough to need stitches, the injured person will need to get to the doctor's office to have it taken care of. If it's too difficult to be sure whether or not a wound requires medical attention, it's best to err on the side of caution and go to the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.



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