The skull is a bony structure that provides support and protection for the brain. While the structure of the skull allows it to withstand a lot, a sufficiently strong impact can cause the bone to break, resulting in a skull fracture.
Skull fractures may result from trauma, such as may occur in a car accident or because of a slip and fall. Because a skull fracture may contribute to a traumatic brain injury, it is vitally important to provide appropriate first aid. First, call 911. Then, while you are waiting for help to arrive, take the following steps.
Except when it is absolutely necessary, you should never move someone who has had a head injury because there could also be an injury to the spinal cord.
A person with a head injury could begin vomiting, which could pose a choking hazard. You should carefully turn the patient onto his or her side while using your hands to stabilize the head and neck, preventing any movement.
Check airways to be sure that they are clear, and also check circulation and breathing. If the person is not breathing and/or there is no pulse, perform CPR.
A skull injury may bleed profusely, and it is important to try to control the blood flow. Using a clean cloth, firmly but carefully apply pressure to the wound. Do not remove the cloth if the blood soaks through. Instead, keep applying clean cloths.
Sometimes you can tell that the person has a skull fracture just by looking because there is a dent or deformity of the bone. However, such visual symptoms may not always be present. It is appropriate to gently check the injury site, but do not use a foreign object to probe it.
When providing first aid for a possible skull fracture, it is important that you act to avoid any further injury.