Karen Savage | CWK Network
"When there's unconsciousness, it means you have at least a concussion. Nicholas had more than a concussion. He also had bleeding over the surface of the brain."
- Dr. Kathleen Nelson, professor of pediatrics -
Selena Huck was on the phone at home when she heard a crash. "At that time I looked around for Nicholas and saw him under the TV and the night stand," she says. Her 30-month-old son Nicholas had climbed up a nightstand where there was a television.
At the emergency room, Dr. Kathleen Nelson asks, "The whole unit, television and nightstand, all flipped over?" Mrs. Huck says yes, they "all flipped over."
"Was he crying?" the doctor asks. The answer is no. "He was unconscious," says Huck.
Dr. Nelson says: "When there's unconsciousness, it means you have at least a concussion. Nicholas had more than a concussion. He also had bleeding over the surface of the brain."
She says for now the best treatment is observation. Nicholas will spend the night in the hospital, and doctors will watch him closely. Right now he is still sleepy, but that's normal. "You feel sick to your stomach, and you feel very sleepy. So it's not unusual at all to have a lot of sleep after a head injury," Nelson explains.
"Particularly over the next 24 hours, we're worrying about swelling of the brain – and signs of that would be increasing vomiting, increasing lethargy or just difficult in arousing," says Nelson.
But by morning, Nicholas has none of those symptoms. "He certainly is very alert," observes Nelson. "It sounds like he's starting to speak," she says.
And although it's garbled toddler speech, it's clear that Nicholas is feeling much better. Still, doctors will watch him for a few months to make sure there are no lingering effects.
And Dr. Nelson's advice about the TV set? "Bolt it to a TV stand to the wall – that's much better and much safer than putting it on a piece of furniture," she says.