Suffering from a head injury is serious business, and whoever ends up with one will want to seek immediate medical attention. This is particularly true of skull fractures, which can have a serious impact on a person’s future.
But what signs may indicate a potential skull fracture? Does anything set it apart from other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
Bruising, bleeding and cerebrospinal fluid leaks
Merck Manual discusses potential signs that may indicate a skull fracture. First, look for signs of bruising around the eyes or behind the ears. If the skull ends up fractured, internal bleeding will likely follow. Blood trapped within the skull or head will often settle in the hollow areas, such as the eye sockets and behind the ears, causing the appearance of bruising.
Likewise, look for blood or clear fluid draining from the ears or nose. The clear fluid is cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain and leaks when the area around the brain suffers from a breach or other form of damage. Blood may gather behind the eardrum and leak if the eardrum bursts.
Neurological signs of a skull fracture or TBI
The potential neurological signs often mirror signs that appear in TBI victims, such as confusion, aggression, agitation and the inability to recognize one’s surroundings or the people around them. Victims may also experience paralysis in some or all limbs. These signs tend to have a faster and more violent onset with the involvement of a skull fracture.
If a victim does not get proper treatment, they risk suffering from permanent damage to the brain and can even develop infections of the head and brain. Quick treatment will reduce the chance of this happening.