A patient who has been evaluated following trauma to the head and neck should be given instructions to cover the recovery period. The following instructions were developed by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) of the English National Health Service.


General guidelines for

(1) Have plenty of rest.

(2) Make sure you have easy access to a telephone.

(3) Make sure you have easy access to medical care.



(1) Do not be left alone for the next 48 hours.

(2) Do not take any alcohol or drugs.

(3) Do not take any sedative or tranquilizing agents unless approved by a physician aware of the injury status.

(4) Do not play any contact sports for the next 3 weeks. After that resumption should be approved by your physician.

(5) Do not return to usual activities unless you feel you have completely recovered.

(6) Do not drive a car, ride a bike or operate machinery unless you feel completely recovered.

(7) Avoid stressful situations.


Symptoms that can be expected for 2 weeks after the trauma:

(1) mild headache

(2) feeling nausea without vomiting

(3) dizziness

(4) irritability

(5) problems concentrating

(6) problems with memory

(7) tiredness

(8) lack of appetite

(9) problems sleeping


When to promptly seek medical care:

(1) any impaired consciousness

(2) any confusion

(3) any inappropriate drowsiness

(4) any problems understanding or speaking

(5) any loss of balance or problems walking

(6) any weakness

(7) any problems with eyesight

(8) a persistent, moderate to severe headache

(9) any vomiting

(10) any seizures, collapsing or passing out

(11) clear fluid coming from the nose or ears

(12) any difficulty waking from sleep

(13) bleeding from one or both ears

(14) new onset of deafness in either ear


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