Symptoms and Signs of Head Injury
(Traumatic Brain Injury)

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Head Injury
(Traumatic Brain Injury)

Traumatic brain injury describes damage to the brain that results from any kind of injury to the head or the body. When a head injury occurs, loss of brain function can occur even without visible damage to the head. Force applied to the head may cause the brain to be directly injured or shaken, bouncing against the inner wall of the skull. The trauma can potentially cause bleeding in the spaces surrounding the brain, bruise the brain tissue, or damage the nerve connections within the brain.

Symptoms of head injury (traumatic brain injury) can vary widely from no initial symptoms to coma. Symptoms of traumatic brain injury may include unconsciousness (even for a short period of time), prolonged confusion, seizures, and multiple episodes of vomiting. Concussion-type symptoms that result from head injuries may include difficulty concentrating, increased mood swings, lethargy or aggression, and altered sleep habits. A serious head injury should be evaluated by a medical professional to check for a possible concussion.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.