Don’t Risk a Brain Bleed
By Amy Morgan
You may remember the headlines when celebrities Sonny Bono and Natasha Richardson died after sustaining head injuries while skiing. Although our hill country slopes are not snowy enough to support the sport, recent ice storms reminded us that a small slippery patch can easily cause us to lose our footing and make it feel like we’re on skis …. until we land with a thump.
If that thump includes a head bump, consider going to Physicians Premier free-standing emergency room to make certain you are not seriously injured. Physicians Premier is located just west of Highway 281 on Highway 46 near the HEB Plus. The facility is staffed with trained professionals equipped with all the diagnostic tools available in a hospital emergency room ready to rule out or treat injuries and illnesses without the wait or the crowd.
Accidents can easily happen. You could hit your head on a windshield, be struck in the head by a high-impact object (like a baseball) or fall off a horse. In fact, any fall from a height of more than five feet (three feet for infants or small children) should be treated as suspect, and especially if you are on blood thinners like coumadin, Xarelto or Eliquis, said Gregory Yu, M.D., Pharm.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Yu has worked with Physicians Premier for three years and has six years’ experience as an emergency room physician. He trained at Georgetown after practicing as a pharmacist for seven years and earning a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University. Blood thinners make it more likely that head trauma could cause an intracranial bleed, which may result in severe neurological symptoms or, as in the case of the above-mentioned celebrities, death, he said.
After a head trauma you might notice symptoms like severe headache, ringing in the ears, nausea or vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, blurry vision, confusion, amnesia, inability to move a part of the body, dizziness or blacking out. Dr. Yu noted it is difficult to evaluate those who are non-verbal, especially small children, so if behavior is “off,” that’s also a sign to bring someone in.
Dr. Yu and his colleagues will conduct a full physical and neurological examination as well as potentially order a CT scan of the head to see what’s going on inside. If indicated, they can transfer a patient to the hospital or a neurosurgeon to surgically repair a bleed with no treatment delay.
Dr. Yu noted the question parents ask him the most frequently is if their child has a concussion, and if so, how can they obtain documentation both to prove it, and to clear the child to return to activity later. Unfortunately, concussion does not show up on a CT or X-Ray, he said, but Physicians Premier can complete a post-concussion exam to clear a student if their symptoms have resolved.
Physicians Premier allows patients to access the care they need when they need it, saving time, money, alleviating concern and allowing for a healthier patient and community. Find them at MDpremier.com.