Dad of Newborn Gets Headache & Dies: 5 Signs Head Pain Is Dangerous

headacheA young mother is left a widow after her 24-year-old husband, a Utah college student died on Friday. He lived just long enough to hold his newborn son, complained of a headache and then fell into a coma. He never got better.

What on Earth could have killed this seemingly healthy young man? Apparently, Josh Robison had fallen ill around Thanksgiving and been diagnosed with a treatable staph infection. The infection apparently had its origin in the heart, which forced surgery. Still, through all that, it still seemed like he was going to be fine. He was on the road to recovery. But then this happened. And just like that, he's gone. Apparently, he'd had an undiagnosed brain bleed.

It's terrifying really. These things can happen so quickly. I mean we all have headaches, right? And they go away. But sometimes, like in this tragic story, a headache is far more than a headache. So when should you worry?

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Here are five signs your headache might be more than just a routine headache:

  1. It came on suddenly: If a headache is all of a sudden there and very severe, it could be a problem. It could be a "Thunderclap headache," which is sudden and severe and could be a sign of a brain aneurysm.
  2. You had a recent head injury: This could indicate swelling or any number of things. Best to get checked out as soon as possible. Robison was able to get checked out, but had he been at home, he may not have been. It is best to err on the side of safety.
  3. It's accompanied by vomiting: This could be severe. Call your doctor.
  4. If you feel it elsewhere: If your headache is accompanied by any other symptoms, it's probably best to get checked out. Sore neck? Stiff joints? Stomach pain?
  5. Elevated blood pressure: This is fairly obvious, but is very important. If you have the means to check blood pressure at home and it is high along with a headache, go straight to the hospital.

It may seem like a minor symptom and a normal reaction to stress. And sometimes it is. But sometimes, tragically, it isn't. We all need to be aware.

Are you aware of how dangerous headaches can be?


Images via Sarah /Flickr and JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

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