Self-management

Coping and support

Patience is key to coping with brain injuries. Adults will have the majority of their recovery during the first six months. Then you might have smaller, more-gradual improvements for up to two years after the hematoma.

To aid your recovery:

  • Get enough sleep at night, and rest in the daytime when you feel tired.
  • Ease back into your normal activities when you feel stronger.
  • Don't participate in contact and recreational sports until you get your doctor's OK.
  • Check with your doctor before you begin driving, playing sports, riding a bicycle or operating heavy machinery. Your reaction times likely will have slowed as a result of your brain injury.
  • Check with your doctor before taking medication.
  • Don't drink alcohol until you've recovered fully. Alcohol may hinder recovery, and drinking too much can increase your risk of a second injury.
  • Write down things you have trouble recalling.
  • Talk with someone you trust before making important decisions.

Prevention

To prevent or minimize head injury:

  • Wear a helmet and make sure your kids wear helmets. Wear an appropriate and properly fitted helmet when playing contact sports, bicycling, motorcycling, skiing, horseback riding, skating, skateboarding, snowboarding or doing any activity that could result in head injury.
  • Buckle your seat belt and make sure your kids are buckled in. Do so every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  • Protect young children. Always use properly fitted car seats, pad countertops and edges of tables, block stairways, tether heavy furniture or appliances to the wall to prevent tipping, and keep children from climbing on unsafe or unsteady objects.
July 13, 2017
References
  1. Traumatic brain injury: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Hope-Through-Research/Traumatic-Brain-Injury-Hope-Through. Accessed March 23, 2017.
  2. Traumatic brain injury. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/traumatic-brain-injury-tbi/traumatic-brain-injury. Accessed March 26, 2017.
  3. McBride W. Subdural hematoma in adults: Etiology, clinical features and diagnosis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 23, 2017.
  4. McBride W. Subdural hematoma in adults: Prognosis and management. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 23, 2017.
  5. Karibe H, et al. Surgical management of traumatic acute subdural hematoma in adults: A review. Neurologia Medico-Chirurgica. 2014;54:887.
  6. McBride W. Intracranial epidural hematoma in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 23, 2017.
  7. Naidech A. Intracranial hemorrhage. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2011;184:998.