A head trauma is any injury that leads to injury of the scalp, skull, or brain. The injuries can range from a minor bump on the skull to serious brain injury.

Head injuries are categorized as either closed or open (penetrating).

A closed head injury means you got a hard blow to the head from striking an object, but the object did not break the skull.

An open, or penetrating, head injury means you were hit with an object that broke the skull and entered the brain. This typically takes place when you move at high speed, such as going through the windshield during a car accident. It can also happen from a gunshot to the head.

​What induces a head injury?

The most common injuries are from motor vehicle accidents (where the person is either riding as a passenger in the car or is struck as a pedestrian), from violence, from falls, or as a result of child abuse.

Common causes of head trauma include car accidents, falls, physical assault, and accidents at home, work, outdoors, or while playing sports.

Some head injuries result in prolonged or irreversible brain damage. This can occur as a result of bleeding within the brain or forces that damage the brain directly. These more significant head injuries may cause:

  • Coma
  • Persistent headaches
  • Loss of or change in sensation, hearing, vision, taste, or smell
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Speech and language problems

​Types of head injuries?

  • A concussion is a jarring injury to the brain. A person who has a concussion usually, but not always, passes out for a short while. The person may feel dazed and may lose vision or balance for a while after the injury
  • A brain contusion is a bruise of the brain. This means there is some bleeding in the brain, causing swelling.
  • A skull fracture is when the skull cracks. Sometimes the edges of broken skull bones cut into the brain and cause bleeding or other injury.

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