Head Injury Patients over 12 years old

Emergency Department

Garrett Anderson Centre

Telephone: 01473 702035 or 702036

What do I need to do?

We think that it is alright for you to leave hospital now. We have checked your symptoms and you seem well on the road to recovery.

Head Injuries

When you get home it is very unlikely that you will have any further problems.

If you are affected by any of the following, we suggest you come back or get someone to take you to your nearest Emergency Department as soon as possible:

  • unconsciousness, or lack of full consciousness (for example problems keeping your eyes open)
  • any confusion (not knowing where you are, getting things muddled up)
  • any drowsiness (feeling sleepy) that goes on for longer than one hour when you would normally be wide awake
  • any problems understanding or speaking
  • any loss of balance or problems walking
  • any weakness in one or both arms or legs
  • any problems with your eyesight
  • very painful headache that won’t go away
  • any vomiting (being sick)
  • any fits (collapsing or passing out suddenly)
  • clear fluid coming out of your ear or nose
  • bleeding from one or both ears
  • new deafness in one or both ears.

You may feel some other symptoms over the next few days which should disappear in the next two weeks.

These include: 

  • a mild headache
  • feeling sick (without vomiting)
  • dizziness
  • irritability or bad temper
  • problems concentrating or with your memory
  • tiredness
  • lack of appetite
  • problems sleeping.

If you feel very concerned about any of these symptoms in the first few days after discharge, you should go and see your GP to talk about them.

If these problems do not go away after two weeks, you should go and see your GP.

We would recommend that you seek your doctor’s opinion about your ability to drive a car or motorbike.

If you follow this advice you should get better more quickly and it may help any symptoms you have to go away.

• Do not stay at home alone for the first 48 hours after leaving hospital.
• Do make sure you stay within easy reach of a telephone and medical help.
• Do have plenty of rest and avoid stressful situations.
• Do not drink any alcohol or take drugs.
• Do not take sleeping pills, sedatives or tranquilisers unless they are prescribed by a doctor.
• Do not play any contact sport (for example rugby or football) for at least three weeks without talking to your doctor first.
• Do not return to your normal school, college or work activity until you feel you have completely recovered.
• Do not drive a car motorbike or I bicycle or operate machinery unless You feel you have completely recovered.

Most people recover quickly from their accident and experience no longterm problems. However, some people only develop problems after a few weeks or months.

If you start to feel that things are not quite right (for example memory problems, not feeling yourself) then please contact your doctor as soon as possible so that he or she can check to make sure you are recovering properly.

Alternatively, advice is available from Headway Suffolk on 01473 712225.