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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
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Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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My 27 year old son was struck 40 hrs ago with a blunt instrument

Resolved Question:

My 27 year old son was struck 40 hrs ago with a blunt instrument acrossed his nose. His vision is blurred in his left eye and extreme bruising and swelling around both eyes. My question is how best to keep the brain from swelling and bleeding.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 7 years ago.

Dear Mom of three,


Thank you for writing to JustAnswer.


Has your soon been seen and had an x-ray or CT scan?


If not I suggest he go, there is a type of fracture that can occur behind the nose which is near the brain, so with the location you are describing he needs to be checked.


Ice can be used the first 48 to 72 hours for swelling/bruising.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Of course my son has no insurance and just graduated from college and is penniless. What could happen with afracture? Bleeding in the brain?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He refuses to go get medical attention. Is ibuprofen good for brain swelling? Or what would you suggest?
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 7 years ago.

I'm so sorry I left you hanging, I had to run an errand unexpectantly.


The fear is of an ethmoid bone fracture. This is a bone in the center of the skull behind the eyes. "Racoon eyes" or two black eyes is always one sign to look for it. Also, with the description of how he was hit. If it wasn't that forceful, then you can hope that this bone wasn't fractured. A sign would be clear fluid leaking from his nose, that would indicate leakage of cerebral spinal fluid. There could still be a fracture though, and it would be important to know and for him to be treated and monitored if so. The blurred vision is concerning.


Ibuprofen will help with a headache as will tylenol. If he has a concussion, he may need other medications to help with the headache, depending on what symptoms he shows. There is no treatment for brain swelling, except surgery.


He can still go to a hospital, any hospital that receives government funding by law must see and treat all patients regardless of ability to pay and any ER must treat him appropriately. I urge you to take him to an ER or if nothing else a Urgent Care Clinic for recommendations. Every doctor has been in college and know how hard it can be to get insurance. They will treat him regardless.


Likely they will still bill him of course and an urgent care center will ask for up front payment - but they are less expensive than an ER. If you have a public hospital, he should at least go to the ER there, they will likely give him better follow up care.

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