One fine sunny day, we were working in NIMHANS casualty. As usual, it was a quite busy day. NIMHANS caters vast area in Karnataka and acts as the main referral center for a head injury, brain tumor, and vascular disease patients.
We often see lots of head injury cases on a daily basis but that day was unusual.
One young lady came in an altered sensorium to the emergency. She was bleeding profusely from the scalp. The scalp is a term used for the outer layer of skin covering the skull. We took a brief history and immediately shifted her to the resuscitation room to stabilize her hemodynamically. She was neither responding to any stimuli nor was opening her eyes. Meanwhile, one of my juniors was busy cleansing and suturing her wound. Scalp bleeds like hell as it has more blood supply. But the good thing is that bleeding often gets controlled on suturing.
After stabilizing the patient, I talked with the patient’s relatives explaining to them about the patient’s condition in detail. While talking to them I came to know she and her sister were going on a moped to a place which was hardly 5 min away from their home. Her sister was wearing a helmet but she herself just neglected to wear it saying that we are just going to a very nearby place…what’s the need to wear a helmet and what the hell will happen at such a shorter distance?
This is the most common thinking we all do most of the time…but you never know what fate has kept in store for you… And this is what happened with these two sisters on their way…
They suffered a road traffic accident on their way. They were hit by a four-wheeler. The patient was thrown away from a skidding vehicle. Following the accident, the patient went into an unconscious state. As her sister was wearing a helmet she was able to recover in few seconds but was shocked by what had just happened and saddened by seeing her sister’s condition.
With help of people around, she was bought to NIMHANS.
We evaluated the patient with a CT scan. It had shown a bleed in the brain which was removed surgically. She was put on a ventilator for some time and was gradually taken off from the ventilator. But there was not much improvement in her condition. She was referred to the rehabilitation center in a vegetative state. A vegetative state is when a person is awake but showing no signs of awareness.
We often neglect helmets while traveling but all days are not similar.
To ensure optimal protection, your helmet should meet the following criteria:
• Comfortable but snugly fitting.
• Should not move side to side or up down.
• Must allow minimum side vision of 105 degrees on each side
• Buckle should be secured after wearing
• Sit evenly on your head with the upper edge of the opening sitting just above your eyebrows
• Certified and fulfilling the guidelines laid out by DOT (United States), ECE (Economic Commission for Europe), SNELL or SHARP (Individual Agencies) or ISI.
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