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Skull fractures: Symptoms, complications and your brain

In car crashes, there is a possibility of hitting your head on the steering wheel, the dashboard or a window. That impact can lead to a skull fracture, which has the potential to become life-threatening.

When you have a skull fracture, it means that there is a break in the bone that surrounds the brain. It can be diagnosed by computed tomography and sometimes X-rays.

What kinds of symptoms could indicate that a person has a skull fracture?

Some possible skull fracture symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Brain damage
  • Fluid leaking from the nose
  • Fluid leaking from the ears
  • Bruises around the eyes

These are some of the most obvious signs that a skull fracture has occurred, though your symptoms may vary.

Do all skull fractures cause brain damage?

No, and in fact, the fracture itself doesn't necessarily cause damage. The force of the impact could be the reason for brain damage, and the fracture could be a secondary injury that results. In some cases, when the bone pushes inward, for example, the pressure can lead to brain injuries. This is why medical treatment is extremely important following a head injury.

What are some risks of skull fractures?

One of the major risks occurs when the skin is broken around a fracture. If that occurs, then there is a risk that bacteria could enter the wound and infect the brain. This can lead to severe brain damage, which may be preventable if you receive antibiotics early in your treatment.

Skull injuries are fairly common, so it's important to seek out a medical exam after any serious crash.

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