Head Injuries | Diagnosis & Tests


How can the doctor tell how bad the damage is?

The doctor will ask about how the injury occurred, about past medical problems, and about vomiting, seizures (fits) or problems breathing after an injury.

The injured person may need to stay in the hospital to be watched. Sometimes, tests that take pictures of the brain, such as a computerized tomography (CT) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, are needed to find out more about possible damage.

Is it true that the person must be kept awake after the injury?

No. If the doctor thinks the person needs to be watched this closely, he or she will probably put the person in the hospital.

Sometimes, doctors will send someone who has had a head injury home if the person with them is reliable enough to watch the injured person closely. In this case, the doctor may ask that the person be awakened frequently and asked questions such as "What's your name?" and "Where are you?" to make sure everything is okay.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 01/06