— Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Senior Consultant, Brain and Spine Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals
Road accidents are a major contributor to head injuries in India. On the occasion of World Head Injury Day, it’s important to highlight the fact that we should be aware of the causes and prevention of Head Injuries. This day marks an ideal opportunity to start relevant conversations and work towards mass sensitization of being prevented from the same.
Any injury to your brain, skull, or scalp accounts for the head injury. Common head injuries include skull fractures, concussions, and scalp wounds. The consequences and treatment may vary depending upon the cause and severity of the injury.
It is important to get a head injury assessed by a doctor as it’s very hard to tell how serious a head injury can be by just looking at it.
A report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, states that 11,168 children lost their lives in road accidents in 2019. Unofficial estimates are much higher. A majority of these children are pillion riders on 2 wheelers.
Major Causes Of Head Injury
- Not wearing helmets
- Not wearing seat belts
- Untrained First Responders
- Lack of awareness on Pre-Hospital Care
- Lack of neuro-rehabilitation facilities
Other Causes of Head Injury
- Sports-related accidents
Symptoms Faced During A Head Injury
A person may face varying degrees of symptoms based on the severity of an injury. Listed here the most common symptoms, of a head injury. However, every individual may face symptoms differently.
Mild Head Injury
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Swelling or bruise around the area of injury
- Problem with balance
Moderate to Severe Head Injury
- Severe and continuous headache
- Repeated Nausea
- Difficulty with walking
- Slurred Speech
- Seizures and convulsions
- Pale skin colour
- Blood draining from ear and nose
It is highly evident that head injuries can be serious. More than the sudden impact, they can cause long term damage to health. Hence, we should take all the necessary precautions and preventive measures to reduce the risk of road accidents; major cause of head injuries.
- Accidents and the effects caused by them can be prevented by using and wearing helmets and seat belts.
- Using helmets the correct way can reduce fatalities by 42% and can reduce the injuries in riders by 62%.
- Following the traffic rules, not drinking and driving and over-speeding.
Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019: A Must To Know
- The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 has increased the penalty for not wearing a seat belt and makes it mandatory for every child to be secured by a safety belt or a child-restraint system.
- This act has increased the penalty for not wearing protective headgear for both the driver and pillion rider and it proposes that every child above the age of four years being carried on a motorcycle must wear a helmet.
Hence, on this World Head Injury Day let us pledge to reduce the deaths and disabilities from road traffic accidents by wearing helmets on two wheelers (driver and pillion) and seat belts both in the front and back seat.
Road traffic accidents account for majority of the head injuries that are reported every year in India. Any injury to your brain, skull or scalp accounts for head injury. Common head injuries include skull fractures, concussions and scalp wounds. The consequences and treatment may wary depending upon the cause and severity of the injury. Head injuries can cause long term disabilities like difficulty in walking, slurred speech, seizures and convulsions or even death. With awareness around importance of wearing helmets (for both the riders) and seat belts (for all passengers in a car) we will be able to reduce the deaths and disabilities that arise from severe head injury during road traffic accidents.
The first hour of the injury is the golden hour within which the victim should be attended to by a medical professional, this not help save lives but also curbs the risk of any long term health risks. For first aid support to a victim of head injury especially during a road traffic accident, the police force, traffic police men and the people who attend to the victim first need to trained as First responders. These are trained professionals who know how a victim with various severe injuries needs to be first aid till the time the ambulance arrives.
This World Head Injury Day we need to make an effort to prevent as many head injuries as possible, especially for children. A report by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, states that 11,168 children lost their lives in road accidents in 2019. Unofficial estimates are much higher. A majority of these children are pillion riders on 2 wheelers.