Imagine you were working on a ladder, and you had a coworker stationed at the bottom to make sure it was stable. They said something to you, so you turned slightly to look down at them and see what they needed. The next thing you knew, you were falling two stories to the ground. You were seriously hurt, cracking your skull on pavement. Today, you have a skull fracture and serious complications as a result.
How serious are such injuries?
Skull fractures are significant and require immediate medical attention. The fracture itself may not be dangerous, but the fact that the brain may have been injured and swelling can put your life at risk.
Skull fractures sometimes open you up to a risk of infection. They can also tear the membrane that surrounds the brain, leading to serious risks of hemorrhages and infection, swelling and brain death.
How will you know if you have a skull fracture?
After you hit your head, you may know immediately that you have a fracture if you can see the brain or there is a gap in the skull. Sometimes, the fracture is what’s called a hairline, which means that the skull has not come apart. The skin may not even be broken. Still, that fracture is significant, because it means your skull has lost integrity and that the brain may have been injured.
If a skull fracture is present, you may have symptoms such as:
- A headache or pain where you hit your head
- Bleeding from the nose, ears or eyes
- Drowsiness, confusion and irritability
- Clear fluid leading from the ears or nose
- Bumps or bruises
- Slurred speech
- Loss of speech
- Bruising under the eyes and/or behind the ears
This kind of injury can be life-changing, because you may be left with significant pain and dysfunction. If your brain was injured, it could change the way you live for the rest of your life.
After an injury like this happens at work, remember that you can pursue a claim for workers’ compensation. That insurance is there to protect you and to provide you with medical and financial coverage, so you can focus on yourself and recovering your health. This is a devastating blow, but with the right support, you can move forward.