Richardson's accident raises concerns about head injuries

    Consumer Reports News: March 18, 2009 04:52 PM

    Actress Natasha Richardson's tragic skiing accident has raised questions about falls and head injuries. We asked Consumers Reports' medical adviser Orly Avitzur, M.D., how to recognize the warning signs of a serious head injury. Dr. Avitzur recommends seeking immediate medical attention if after a blow to the head you experience:

    • A severe headache
    • An associated neurological complaint such as weakness, numbness, slurred speech, visual abnormalities or severe dizziness
    • Excessive drowsiness
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Confusion
    • Unequal pupils
    • Difficulty awakening from sleep
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Blood or clear fluid coming from the nose or ears

    And how can you be certain a headache is a just a headache and not a life-threatening injury? If you have a headache that is severe and doesn't respond to acetaminophen (Tylenol), contact your doctor right away.

    For more, read our Consumer Reporter blog on ski safety and helmets.

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