When you get into a car crash, your head, neck and back are the places most susceptible to injury. Thus, a majority of protective measures attempt to circumvent damage in these areas.This damage could includes skull fractures, which can be potentially lethal.
Internal bleeding and cerebrospinal (CSF) leaks
Merck Manual looks into potential ways a fractured skull may manifest. First, you can look for unique bruising patterns that often occur when there is blood inside the skull. When this happens, the blood will often settle in the hollows of the skull, creating bruising in “puddles”. You can find these bruises behind the ears and around the eyes.
You may also notice blood leaking from the ears, which can indicate that blood has built up behind the eardrum and then burst through. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear liquid found in cranial cavities, may also appear. It will sometimes leak when the cavities end up punctured, which may happen in the event of a fracture. Look for clear fluid dripping from the ears or nose.
With a skull fracture, neurological symptoms often appear very quickly, sometimes even within seconds. Common signs include:
- A lack of balance
- The inability to identify surroundings or people
- Frequent and repeated vomiting
- Full or partial paralysis
If you do not get immediate treatment for a skull fracture, the bone can damage soft brain tissue and the brain can swell further, cutting off the oxygen supply and causing damage.