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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Head Injury

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Observation Following a Head Injury

Monitor the patient for the following:

  • Sudden change in alertness (i.e. decreasing consciousness, more sleepy).
  • Sudden or increasing confusion (i.e. cannot remember phone number, address, name, etc).
  • Headache that worsens despite medications.
  • Increasing nausea or persistent vomiting. 
  • Pupils are not equal in size or shape. 

Contact: Student Health Services at 507-389–6276 or Mayo Clini Hospital Emergency Room at 507-625-4031 if any of the above symptoms have developed.


  • Have someone stay with the patient at all times to help monitor for the above symptoms.
  • Start with clear fluids like water or Gatorade and advance diet as tolerated.
  • Avoid aspirin!  Tylenol (acetaminophen) may be used for headaches.  Ibuprofen is not advised initially for headaches in this situation.
  • Avoid codeine (or other narcotics) and alcohol (or other mood altering drugs) which make an evaluation difficult or may even mask the above symptoms of an increasing head injury.