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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So literally two hours ago me and my friend Elsie went for a trail ride with our horses. We came to an open stretch of field and started cantering. All was well until her horse started bucking and she came off and hit her head. I asked her if she was okay and she said she thought so. She sat on the ground for a few minutes and said her head was a little sore. I got off and we started walking back to the barn. As we were walking she began to get confused about which way was home even though we regularly ride on that trail. She began asking me lots of questions about why we were riding at the powerlines, why she was riding Phil and not Norman, and kept saying she thought she was supposed to be somewhere in 15 minutes. I thought she was okay until she started asking the questions over and over again. She didnt remember that she was taking a calculus class, she didnt remember the guy she liked even after I reminded her his name, and she couldnt remember what she had done that day.
I figured the most important thing was to keep her calm and get her back to the barn. So I took the lead and kept talking to her. I told her everything I could think about. I told her about the boy she liked, I told her about the cute guys she played frisbee with the other day, basically I just kept talking to keep her calm. She didnt remember that and she didnt even remember where she went to college. She had no idea where she was as we were walking back to the barn. She kept asking if we were going the right direction. I literally told her the same things 20 times. I reminded her to breathe and told her she was okay and that we were almost back to the barn where I would get help. Elsie kept thanking me for being so calm because she was getting nervous. She gave me her cell and told me her password in case she passed out. I probably should have called the barn owner and told her we were on our way, but I was too focused on leading the horses and talking to Elsie. I didnt want to stop.
Anyways it took about 10 minutes but we made it back to the barn. The barn owner came out and had Elsie sit down and put her head between her legs. I took care of the horses while the barn owner asked Elsie questions and called her sister. Elsie slowly started remembering things, but the barn owner still drove her to the hospital to get her head checked out. And yes she was wearing a helmet. We ALWAYS ride with helmets.
So now my question is, what should you do when someone falls and hits their head and loses some of their memory? Did I do the right thing? Or should I have made her stay where she was and not moved her? I did what I thought best, and thankfully she was alright. Im still waiting to hear from the barn owner how she is, but I just want to know what to do if this happens again. I kind of just winged it.
 

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You call 911 asap. You make note of EVERYTHING. Time it started, when the memory lapse started, when she passes out. Sit her down and KEEP HER CALM! No walking, which will increase her heart rate and BP. If her brain was bleeding raising her blood pressure/HR will cause the brain to bleed faster.
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I think you did alright (then again I'm not an expert...). Unless you're right next to the road I really don't think that it would help to give an approximate location to the ambulance who might take longer to get there (we were on a trail ride once with someone who broke their ribs/leg and it took 4 hours for the ambulance to get halfway to us; it took us thirty minuets to get to a house to call 911.) She was conscious and you got her back so she could get help so that's a good plan in my book. (Though it would be different if she had been unconscious.) Hope she's okay.
 

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I hope someone eventually got her to the hospital after this - you did an excellent job, btw, with talking to her, staying calm, reminding her of things as you were also leading the horses back. Good job! Her whole scenario describes a concussion, and this happens in sports even with helmets - (hockey players/ski pros).... let us know how she's doing, and hope all is well! Prayers sent out her way :)
 

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As someone who has had head problems in the past and has a high likely hood of head issues in the future i have to say for the situation you did the right thing, I know when i smack into something or have to have surgery and I loose my memory for a long time, short term anyways, and i know that the few times i have fallen off and lost memory any time people tried to make me stay still and not move it make me panicky and made things worse, where if people let me wander in a controlled manner, (like following you back to the barn) it helped me relax and let me focus on remembering what happened. if it was super bad i could see staying put but from how it sounds you were right on, a call to the Barn owner might have been good she could have had an ambulance meet you guys at the barn but otherwise i dont see any problems
 

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Northernstar, yes the OP stated her friend went to the hospital.

If you were anywhere that a vehicle could have got to you, I would have stayed put and called someone to come and get her. Not necessarily 911, a driver with another person would have been enough. My concern would have been the danger of her loosing her balance, blurred vision, tripping and falling on the way back to the barn. If a vehicle couldn't get to where you were, I would have called for assistance on horseback. Another pair of hands would have been necessary if something else went wrong; with heads and horses, you just never know.

However, I still think you did well - staying calm and taking control. Giving her focus. All good things. I hope she is OK.
 

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You have to be really careful with head injuries though. Call the barn and ask them to send you a golf cart or quad or something. Spinal injuries are another animal. You NEVER want to move a person with a spinal injury unless its life or death. Like car going up in flames life or death.
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I'm a medic on ambulance so I deal with this sort of thing all the time. Any time someone falls a distance higher than their own height, a spinal/head injury should be suspected. Even if the person feels okay at first, they should really NOT move or get up as they could easily do more damage to themselves.
Never try to move the person yourself unless you have the proper training.

The best thing to do would have been to call an ambulance, as they would have the equipment necessary to stabilize her head and spine en route to a hospital. I would have asked her to stay still (in the most comfortable position for her) until help arrived.

However, it sounds like you did a great job of looking out for your friend. I'm very glad that you stepped up and helped her out, well done!
 

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What you describe is very common with head trauma. I did the same thing when I fell off and hit my head (I was wearing a helmet). I remember being in the waiting room at the hospital for a short time- when it was really hours.

I didn't even have a concussion! And I still was confused! Next time call 911 and have them come to you though.
 

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I'm glad you were wearing helmets- goodness knows what could have happened if that weren't the case.

Trail ride falls are tricky- I think if you know you can get more man power to come to you then try that first, but it sounds like you did a great job keeping her calm and getting back home! I hope she is okay!
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I am not a nurse but I do know what brain trauma can do and how to treat it. As others have stated keep the victim calm and avoid any physical activity.
You did a good job and you remaining calm was a very brave thing. Shalom
 

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I think you handled it quite well, and it must have been pretty scary. I know I'd have done the same, but then we don't have mobile phone coverage so calling someone would be a no go.
 

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I had almost the exact same thing happen with my friend! Her saddle slipped while cantering and she hit her head hard. I think she was knocked out for the few seconds it took for me to pull up my horse, leap off, and run to her. She wasn't quite as vocal as your friend, she was very quiet while walking back to the barn, and after I got her inside, every five minutes or so she would ask where she was ... I thought she was going to die, I was terrified. She went to the hospital, came home and slept, and was better the next morning. To this day, there are significant gaps in her memory of that day she fell off.

I'm glad your friend went to the hospital. I'm no expert but I know that a concussion as major as that definitely needs to be looked at, there's so much that can go wrong with a brain. I hope your friend is ok, lots of hugs to you!
 

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Glad your friend is okay. I remember when my son had a traumatic brain injury (football). The thing I always look for now if someone hits their head is vomiting. My son was able to walk off the field, but started vomiting shortly after sitting down. They told us this is usually a sign that there is bleeding on the brain. I think without that, as your friend was able to safely walk, keeping her awake, calm and asking her questions was the best thing you could do.
 

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I'm a medic on ambulance so I deal with this sort of thing all the time. Any time someone falls a distance higher than their own height, a spinal/head injury should be suspected. Even if the person feels okay at first, they should really NOT move or get up as they could easily do more damage to themselves.
Never try to move the person yourself unless you have the proper training.

The best thing to do would have been to call an ambulance, as they would have the equipment necessary to stabilize her head and spine en route to a hospital. I would have asked her to stay still (in the most comfortable position for her) until help arrived.

However, it sounds like you did a great job of looking out for your friend. I'm very glad that you stepped up and helped her out, well done!
EMT to add to this: Do not let someone with a concussion sleep, especially if they really really want to. Keep them up, talking, alert. Ask them questions, etc. Everyone here has given great advice - if you see concussion symptoms, it's hospital time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had almost the exact same thing happen with my friend! Her saddle slipped while cantering and she hit her head hard. I think she was knocked out for the few seconds it took for me to pull up my horse, leap off, and run to her. She wasn't quite as vocal as your friend, she was very quiet while walking back to the barn, and after I got her inside, every five minutes or so she would ask where she was ... I thought she was going to die, I was terrified. She went to the hospital, came home and slept, and was better the next morning. To this day, there are significant gaps in her memory of that day she fell off.

I'm glad your friend went to the hospital. I'm no expert but I know that a concussion as major as that definitely needs to be looked at, there's so much that can go wrong with a brain. I hope your friend is ok, lots of hugs to you!
Its nice to hear from someone whos been in the same situation as I have! It can be pretty nerve-wracking. And yes she is fine. She should be back to riding soon :)
 
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