Head trauma refers to any injury to the scalp, skull, and even brain. It varies according to classification, may it be neuronal injuries, vascular injuries, subdural hygromas, hemorrhages, and cranial nerve injuries. These classifications are categorized further to be open or closed head injuries. There are a lot of factors causing head traumas which are minor or may necessitate hospitalization and these are the accidents, physical assault, falls, or traffic accidents.
Each year more than 2.4 million suffer a TBI, or traumatic brain injury. The results of this type of injury can be unpredictable and can greatly impact the way a person thinks, acts and feels. No two brain injuries are ever alike and the effects of an injury can vary from person to person. Largely, the effects of a TBI will depend on its severity, location, and cause. The Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, has reported that the major causes of traumatic brain injuries are Falls 35.2%, traffic accidents 17.3%, striking events 16.5%, and assaults 10%.
The signs and symptoms of head trauma differ based on the injury. Some patients that have head trauma may lead to stabilized condition while others may lead to deterioration. An individual having a head trauma may have or absence of neurological deficit. Traumatic brain injury causes a variety of effects that affect the physical as well as psychological being of the person. There are clients whose signs and symptoms appear right away following the traumatic incident while others experience the appearance of the symptoms days or weeks following the traumatic event.
The mild traumatic brain injury signs and symptoms include the following:
• unconscious for a few seconds or a few minutes
• no absence of consciousness but shows to have confusion, disorientation, and state of being dazed
• weakness or drowsiness
• having hard time to sleep or having increased number of hours of sleeping
• wooziness or having loss of balance
• blurry of vision
• ringing in the ears
• having bad taste in the mouth
• change in smell
• sensitive to sound or light
Mental or Cognitive Symptoms
• problems with concentration or memory
• change in mood
• presence of depression or anxiety
The moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries may still have the signs and symptoms with that of the mild injury and the following symptoms below that can be present within the first hours to days following the head trauma:
• unconscious for several minutes to hours
• persistence of headache or worsening headache
• nausea or vomiting that occurs repeatedly
• seizures or convulsions
• dilated pupil in one or both eyes
• drainage of clear fluid coming from the ears or nose
• cannot awaken from sleep
• fingers and toes are weak or numb
• coordination is lost
Mental or Cognitive Symptoms
• confusion is profound
• exhibits combativeness, agitation, or behaviors that are not usual
• speech is slurred
• coma and other disorders affecting consciousness
In children having head trauma, it is vital to have keen observation on the following symptoms because infants and children with brain traumas may be lacking skills in the ability to communicate or report headaches, confusion, and sensory problems:
Symptoms for Infants and Children
• eating or nursing habits changes
• persistence in crying and inability to be comforted
• exhibits easy or unusual irritability
• ability in paying attention changes
• sleeping habits changes
• shows sadness or depression
• interest in favorite activities or even toys is lost
It is vital to seek medical consult when there are signs and symptoms of head trauma to a child that is due to a blow or injury. No matter if the head trauma is mild, moderate, or severe, prompt medical attention must be sought for proper management. You can read more about the different types of head trauma here.
For further information about recognizing the symptoms of head trauma visit Medline Plus at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000028.htm
At HeadTrauma.net we hope to provide support, understanding, community, education, and help to people who are dealing with serious head trauma and its associated conditions. We rely on the support of a variety of volunteers including, doctors, nurses and those who have been impacted either personally or through a family member with a serious head injury.
We would like to thank the folks at BrainTrauma.org for their work educating people about the dangers of concussions and traumatic brain injuries. They currently offer many helpful free downloadable pdfs focused on TBI issues from expert neurosurgeons and physicians dedicated to this field of medicine. We would also like to personally thank the RN’s over at CNA Education for their support and dedication to raising awareness of brain issues and their hard-work to treatment of those afflicted. We also want to highlight the Brain Injury Association for their work helping some of the more than 2.4 million people who suffer a traumatic brain injury every year.
The information found here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician to diagnose any medical conditions. If you suffer a head injury please seek immediate medical care.