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Got hit on forehead and chest. Bump and bruise appeared. Feeling dizzy. Is this serious?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5767 Questions
Hi Dr. Grief, I hit my forehead on a chest of drawers 3 days ago, and shortly afterwards, a bump and bruising appeared. Two days later (yesterday) I had a brief moment, after I'd been walking very quickly, when I thought I was going to black out, but didn't. Today (three days later), I've been having intermittent head pain (on the top sides of the head, not where I originally hit myself) and am feeling a bit dizzy.
I'm seeing an acquaintance who is a retired neurologist tomorrow, but my question is, is this something which I need to have checked out urgently, before then? (I'm a bit worried about going out today, in case the dizziness gets worse when I'm walking.)
( I also started taking baby aspirin (100mg) the same day I hit my forehead, just in case this is relevant??)

Thank you for your help.
Posted Mon, 6 May 2013 in Head Injuries
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 20 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Head injury can be very insidious as you are unable to take a look inside your head. Even a small injury can cause cranial vessels rupture and give XXXXXXX bleeding. Such bleeding can give no symptoms for first few days, or the symptoms can be just like mentioned by you. And even neurologist wont be able to tell either there is something happening or not.
That is why tomorrows neurologist consult most likely wont give you any answer. So most reasonable is to visit your doctor right away and have head CT performed. Even if everything seems fine, it is too much risk to neglect it.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Got hit on forehead and chest. Bump and bruise appeared. Feeling dizzy. Is this serious? 36 minutes later
Thanks, Dr. Stanko, I'll go to my GP this afternnoon and request a CAT scan (is that what you mean or is 'CT' something different?)

Also, would a simple X-ray suffice?
Or is an MRI more suitable than a CAT scan? Thank you.

Thank you.

Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 1 hour later
CT (Computer Tomography) and CAT (Computed Axial Tomography) are two names of the same test. X-ray is less accurate and there is no need to do it when CT is done.
MRI is always better test than CT. During the CT you will get some dosage of X rays. MRI does not give any negative radiation. Moreover it is more precise if it is about brain diseases. But with simple check of possible bleeding, CT is sufficient. If you have a choice, choose MRI, if not, CT will be ok as well.

Hope this will help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Got hit on forehead and chest. Bump and bruise appeared. Feeling dizzy. Is this serious? 4 hours later
Thank you, Dr. Stanko,

I've just returned from the ER where the doctor performed a series of "motor" tests (following finger, examining eyes, reflexes, etc.) to see if there was outer evidence of braun trauma/swellling (she didn't mention bleeding). She said I was fine and didn't need a CAT scan and that some light headaches were normal after banging my forehead in this way - and jut to keep an eye on the normal things to watch out for after "light cranial traumatism". I live in Barcelona, and all the treatment is feee on the National Health System here, so I couldn't 'insist' on a CAt scan! I hope this will be OK.
Thank you for your very thorough advice, which I appreciate!
Kind Regards,
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 minutes later

Just be aware of symptoms like: nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, weakness, dizziness. Take a look at your pupils from time to time and see if both are even.
Like I have said before, no doctor is able to tell in 100% what exactly is going on under the skull. Most likely you will be fine and no further action will be necessary (CT would give a 100% exact answer).

All the best for you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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