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Fell from horse, symptoms of concussion, stitched gash above eyebrow. MRI done. Is it safe to travel?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9086 Questions
My husband fell off a horse 2 days ago & we are flying back to Florida (home) from the Dominican Republic. They did an MRI at the hospital when the injury occurred & there is no swelling, but now he has the syptoms of a concussion (fatigue,nausea,vomitting, headache). He has a gash above his eyebrow which was stitched with XXXXXXX & external stitches. Is it safe for him to fly home tomorrow. The doctor at the hospital knew that we were going home in 3 days & didn't warn him about flying.
Posted Wed, 20 Jun 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Since your husband is already having symptoms of a concussion, these might get aggravated during the flight due to the pressure changes.
He can find symptomatic relief by following some of the tips suggested below.

1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken to help the pressure symptoms in his head. Remember NOT to use aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), naproxen, or similar drugs.

2. Eating a light diet.

3. Avoiding exercise, weight lifting, or heavy activities. Light activity around the home is okay. He need not need to stay in bed.

4. Avoiding alcohol until he has completely recovered.

With regard to your question whether he can fly or travel, please check the following list of signs and symptoms and make sure that he does not have them.

1. Changes in behavior or unusual behavior
2. Changes in speech (slurred, difficult to understand, does not make sense)
3. Confusion
4. Difficulty waking up or becoming more sleepy
5. Double vision or blurred vision
6. Fever
7. Fluid or blood leaking from the nose or ears
8. Headache that is getting worse, lasts a long time, or does not get better with over-the-counter pain relievers
9. Problems walking or talking
10. Seizures
11. Vomiting more than three times

In case he does not have any of the above, then he can safely fly and travel, but remember not to overtly stress himself.

In case he does have the above mentioned symptoms, he might need to consult his doctor or a ‎neurologist for proper examination and tests to rule out anything serious.

In addition, In the future please take precautions so as to avoid further head injuries and in case he does intend to continue horse riding please make sure that he wears a suitable headgear.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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