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Should you worry about skull fractures?

Getting into a car crash can produce long-lasting damages that you may struggle to deal with. The most common of severe injuries often hinge on your head, neck and back, with the damages at peak severity when involving your spine, brain and skull.

But how likely are you to suffer from a skull fracture when involved in a car crash? How worried should you be about this possibility, or the injury itself?

Risks of a skull fracture

Merck Manual takes a look at the possibility of suffering from a skull fracture in your crash and how dangerous it is. Skull fractures serve as a potential source of harm for the soft tissue of the brain, which requires the skull’s full protection in order to stay safe.

In the case of a fracture, you see two potential risks. One is the lowered protection a fractured skull offers if you end up taking a second blow to the head. The second is the possibility of the damaged skull harming the brain, i.e. shards of skull cutting soft brain tissue or creating a contusion if the brain slams against it.

Identifying fractures

You can see potential signs of skull fracture in a victim’s behavior, as they often display neurological symptoms almost immediately. This can include confusion, lack of recognition, seizures, repeated vomiting and partial or full paralysis. You might also see bruising behind the ears or around the eyes as blood in the skull begins to settle into the hollow areas. Watch for blood and clear fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) leaking from the nose or ears as well.

Skull fractures require immediate medical attention. If you do not get this, the brain can swell and bleed, leading to permanent brain damage or even the possibility of death.