Mild traumatic brain injury is relatively common. Often there is no sequelae but sometimes the injury can be more serious than expected. Fung et al listed instructions for a patieint discharged from the Emergency Department following mild head injury. The authors are from the University of New York in Buffalo.


Patient selection: mild traumatic brain injury


Number of evidence-based risk factors for significant brain injury: 6


Period of observation: 24 hours


Risk Factor

What an Observer Looks Out For

Glasgow Coma Score < 15

fainting or sleepiness


vomiting or throwing up


constant headache, especially if worsening


unable to remember new events


any jerking of the body or limbs

neurologic deficit

unable to move any part of body, change in behavior, confusion



(1) If one or more of these things occur then the doctor should be called or the patient brought to the Emergency Department.

(2) Tylenol can be taken for pain.

(3) Aspirin or pain pills should not be taken for the first 24 hours.

(4) Sports and strenuous activities should not be engaged in until the doctor determines that it is safe to do so.


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