Head injury

The head may be injured with or without significant trauma to other parts of the body. Priority in management of the multiply injured patient must be placed on securing adequate gas exchange and circulatory resuscitation, and dealing with any life-threatening injury, e.g. an arterial injury, before definitive treatment for head injury.

The patient will usually be admitted to the ICU after CT scanning has identified the extent of injury. The neck should also be imaged by CT, particularly if the patient is ventilated. It is also likely that surgery will have been undertaken for any significant space-occupying lesion or for elevation of a depressed fracture.

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