If you have a fit or seizure or fall unconscious, even if its only for a second, you should call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.
If you are bleeding and it won’t stop, or if you have fluid coming from your nose or ears, you should go to your nearest emergency department immediately.
You should call healthdirect immediately on 1800 022 222 if you:
- have trouble seeing, hearing or speaking properly
- having a headache which is getting worse or won’t go away
- having difficulty seeing or hearing
- being confused or acting strangely
- having difficulty staying awake
- having pupils which are a different size to each other
- losing your balance or feeling dizzy
- losing your memory.
You should also call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 if:
- you develop any other new symptoms
- you become increasingly concerned
- the health and symptom checker has not addressed your symptoms.
Otherwise, sit quietly and use an icepack. You need someone with you to watch you closely for 24 hours (or 48 hours for children or older people). You can take paracetamol, but not other painkillers.
There is no need to stay awake following a head injury. The injured person needs to be woken gently every 4 hours to make sure they respond normally. If they don’t, they should go to the nearest emergency department.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your head injury, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Last reviewed: July 2015