Managing low-risk head injuries after a fall

This Factsheet provides advice if you have a minor, low-risk head injury after having a fall. Your doctor will provide more information before you are discharged.

What does low-risk mean?

Our doctors decide a head injury is low-risk when you do not lose consciousness and do not have forgetfulness or confusion. Your doctor will do a series of medical tests to assess your risk.

You should:

  • Stay within reach of a telephone and medical help in the next few days.
  • Have plenty of rest and avoid stressful situations.
  • Show this factsheet to someone who can take care of you.
  • Take painkillers such as paracetamol for headaches.

You should not:

  • Don’t be alone for 24 hours after leaving hospital.
  • Don’t drink alcohol for at least 24 hours.
  • Don’t take aspirin or sleeping tablets without asking your doctor.
  • Don’t return to work until you feel ready.
  • Don’t play any contact sport until cleared by your GP.
  • Don’t drive yourself home from hospital.

Seek urgent medical care if you have:

  • Severe headaches
  • Vomited more than twice
  • Memory problems
  • Blackouts
  • A seizure (fit or spasm of arms, legs or face)
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Blood or clear fluid coming from your ears or nose
  • Neck stiffness
  • Numbness, tingling, pins and needles, or weakness in your arms or legs
  • Confusion, slurred speech or unusual behaviour
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dizziness
  • A high temperature.

Disclaimer This document describes the generally accepted practice at the time of publication only. It is only a summary of clinical knowledge regarding this area. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital makes no warranty, express or implied, that the information contained in this document is comprehensive. They accept no responsibility for any consequence arising from inappropriate application of this information.

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  • Managing a Low-Risk Head Injury After a Fall #232
  • Owner: Specialist Clinics
  • Last Reviewed: February 6, 2023
  • Next Review: March 18, 2027