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Physical Assault


A physical assault is any injury caused by another person. You may have one or more broken bones, a concussion, or a cut. You may also have eye, nerve, or tissue damage. An injury to an organ can cause internal bleeding. Other problems can develop later if you had a head injury. You may need to ask someone to stay with you a few days if you had a head injury.


Call 911 for any of the following:

You may need to ask someone to be ready to call 911 if you are not able.

  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • You have a seizure, cannot be woken, or are not responding.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have vision changes or a loss of vision.
  • You have new or increasing pain or bruising.
  • You feel dizzy or nauseated, or you are vomiting.
  • You are confused or have memory problems.
  • You feel more tired than usual, or you have changes in the amount of sleep you usually get.
  • Your speech is slurred.
  • You have an open wound and it is swollen, draining pus, or has a foul smell.
  • You see red streaks on your skin that start at your wound.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask how to take this medicine safely. Do not wait until the pain is severe to take your medicine.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Antibiotics prevent or treat a bacterial infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need x-rays or other tests. Your healthcare provider may want to put a cast on a broken arm or leg. He may need to treat a concussion. You may also need to see a specialist.


  • Apply ice as directed. Ice helps reduce pain and swelling. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Place it on the injured area for 20 minutes every hour, or as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how many times each day to apply ice, and for how many days.
  • Care for your wound as directed. Clean the wound gently with soap and water, as directed. If you have a cut or other open wound, keep it covered with a bandage. Ask your healthcare provider what kind of bandage to use. Change the bandage if it gets wet or dirty. Look for signs of infection, such as swelling, pus, or red streaks.
  • Rest as needed. Ask when you can return to your normal activities. If you have a head injury or are taking narcotic pain medicine, ask when you can start driving again.
  • Go to therapy as directed. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help strengthen muscles and prevent more injury. A mental health therapist can help you manage stress or depression caused by the physical assault.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.