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Why is it dangerous to go to sleep after a head injury?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If someone suffers from a head injury, a very common piece of advice is that doctors will tell them not to go to sleep. If family members, friends or even medical professionals are watching this individual, they will try to keep them awake.

The reason for this is that going to sleep increases the odds that someone could have severe complications or pass away from that head injury. Staying awake allows them to have a better chance of recovery. But why is it that sleeping in particular is so dangerous? After all, it doesn’t make the head injury any worse than it was to begin with.

Monitoring the onset of symptoms

The issue isn’t that sleeping would make the head injury more significant or make the symptoms more serious. Falling asleep does not accelerate the process or cause someone to pass away.

Instead, falling asleep can disguise the symptoms. Maybe someone has a brain bleed, for instance. Their symptoms would gradually get worse until they could begin slurring their speech, complaining about severe headaches or even having episodes of unconsciousness.

If that person is asleep, no one around them knows that the symptoms are becoming more severe and that medical intervention is needed. If they are awake, the symptoms will be noticed far earlier and can be treated promptly, which increases their odds of recovery.

Have you suffered an injury in an accident?

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of head injuries in the United States. Those who have been injured need to know about all of the legal options at their disposal as they seek compensation, especially if they have severe ramifications that lead to extensive medical bills.