A traumatic brain injury is a result of a strong or violent impact to the head. Objects that penetrate the brain tissue, like a bullet or a piece of a broken skull also can cause a traumatic brain injury.
Mild forms of this injury only affect the brain cells temporarily while more serious traumatic brain injuries can cause tearing of brain tissue, swelling of the brain, bleeding and permanent damage to the brain that may affect a person’s psychology.
This kind of injury can cause a wide variety of physical and psychological effects; some symptoms may affect immediately after the injury while some can appear after a few days up to a few weeks.
A mild traumatic brain injury can have the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness that lasts for a few seconds to a few minutes
- A state of confusion or disorientation
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty in speech
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty in balancing
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Sudden sensitivity to light or sound
- Problems in memory or concentrating
- Sudden mood changes
- A state of depression or anxiety
A moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can have the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness that lasts from a few minutes to a few hours
- A persistent headache that may worsen
- Repeated feelings of nausea or vomiting
- Convulsions or seizures
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness or numbness in the fingers or toes
- Slurred speech
- A state of agitation or aggression
Common causes of a traumatic brain injury are heavy blows to the head or any other strong traumatic event that strikes the head. The severity of the injury and the damages vary on several factors.
Falls, from high heights, can cause traumatic brain injury and is more likely to happen on children or the elderly
- Car accidents
- Violence, such as domestic violence, gunshot wounds or any other physical assaults can cause traumatic brain injury
- Sports caused injuries, sports such as soccer, boxing, baseball, and etc. can cause traumatic brain injury
- Explosive blasts and war-related injuries
Military personnel is the most susceptible to traumatic brain injury from explosives, gunfire, shrapnel that may hit or penetrate the skull and etc.
A traumatic brain injury can lead to an altered consciousness state such as a coma, vegetative state and up to brain death.
The details posted on this page on a traumatic brain injury is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications and how it is managed, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.