Usually when I think of falls causing brain injuries, I think of my little geriatric patients– “I stepped off the curb and down I went!” or some such seemingly simple misstep. My grandma fell this past week in a similar mistake, but thankfully she’s ok. Not without my nurse mom performing neuro checks on her though! Personally, I don’t think of a college student falling off a bunk bed. And what I thought interesting too is that his injury was described as “severe,” but that also it took several days for his symptoms to appear. The levels of injury I was taught would put that time frame in the “mild” category. However, watching videos of him currently, I would definitely agree that the injury must of have been severe. When we have a patient at the hospital that falls and we suspect or are not sure of possible head trauma, we do neuro checks every hour for the next 12… not 48 or 72 hours. I guess the difference would be that most of my geris are on blood thinners that would cause the blood to pool and brain edema to come on much quicker than in a young person who is relatively healthy and not on blood thinners. Good to know.
Especially with the 2nd highest age group for fall related TBI is the 0-4 age range according to this TBI fact sheet from the CDC. Plenty of my friends have little ones and my nephew is about to turn 2. Toddlers fall down ALL THE TIME. They are little explorers: always exploring their own bodies’ abilities and their environments, which can often result in a tumble and tears. So being alert for signs/symptoms of a brain injury is important for parents and caregivers of toddlers.
On that note, I think we’ll discuss the symptomology of brain injury and the neuro check tomorrow! So stay tuned!