When you suffer from a blow to the head, you will likely also deal with some sort of injury to the brain. You may even experience skull injuries, such as a fracture, though this is somewhat less common than cerebral hemorrhaging, bruising and concussions.
What is a skull fracture? Does it have any unique negative impacts on the brain? How do you differentiate a skull fracture from other forms of head injury, too?
Bleeding in the skull
Merck Manual discusses the way in which a skull fracture may manifest. This often applies to car crashes but can involve any situation in which you take a heavy blow to the head without the appropriate protective gear.
First, one of the most unique things about a skull fracture is the potential for intracranial bleeding. In short, if you damage your skull, it could cause internal bleeding that may show up as bruising and end up visible to other people. Blood from this injury tends to collect in hollow points of the skull such as the eye sockets and behind the ears, so any bruising here should not necessarily get brushed off.
Cerebrospinal fluid leaks
Next, a skull fracture has the possibility of causing a cerebrospinal fluid leak. The cerebrospinal fluid surrounds the brain within the skull and has several functions. This includes further cushioning the brain from blows, getting rid of toxins and chemicals, and delivering nutrients to the tissue. Victims of skull fractures might leak clear fluid from the nose or ears, which is the cerebrospinal fluid escaping from the fracture.
Whatever type of head injury one suffers from, immediate medical attention should remain a top priority. This is the best way to ensure you avoid long-term damage.