You take a serious fall at work. It happens fast. You don’t even know for sure what happened. Did you hit your head on the ground? Why did you fall? Did you lose consciousness on impact? If so, how long were you out? You have a lot of questions, and they can hinder your ability to know just how badly you got hurt.
The first step, of course, is to seek medical assistance. Treat every fall as a serious event. Always assume you need treatment. Talk to a doctor and get a professional opinion. Do not try to walk it off or “wait and see” what happens.
That said, there are symptoms of head injuries you can look for after the fall. Here are some things to consider:
1. The symptoms are not always in your head at all.
For instance, you may feel nauseated after the fall. You could vomit or feel dizzy. With your stomach feeling unsettled, you feel like you’re sick. It is a stomach bug or food poisoning? In reality, these are common signs of a concussion. Your body is having an adverse reaction to the head injury and the nausea and vomiting are just part of it.
2. Lost memories indicate brain injuries.
If you cannot remember what happened, that’s a sign that you at least suffered a severe concussion. It could be a far more serious issue. It’s most definitely a brain injury, which can be risky, especially if there are complications like swelling or bleeding on the brain. Remember that you could even lose memories from long before the event. You may not remember the entire day before the fall, even though you didn’t suffer the injury until the afternoon.
3. Some symptoms do not heal. They can be life-changing.
For example, maybe you had a head injury and started suffering seizures. That could mean that an outside object — such as a bone fragment — has entered the brain tissue itself. Doctors may not be able to remove the object or, even if they can, the damage could be such that you will be a seizure risk for life. How could this impact things like your ability to drive or work?
With head injuries, symptoms are different for everyone, depending on cause, severity, location, medical treatment and much more. The above are just a few things to get you started, but your own symptoms may not fit that model.
Regardless, a serious on-the-job injury can change your life dramatically and quickly. Make sure you know what options you have.