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Blunt head trauma

Blunt head trauma happens when a blow or heavy force is applied to the head and can result in serious damage to the brain. Depending on the severity of the force or blow to the head, the damage can range from a minor bump to a severe brain injury. Most blunt head traumas occur due to automobile accidents.

Even if the head trauma does not result in an open wound, the brain can still be injured by the force or blow. The consequences of a blunt head trauma are permanent and serious and can disrupt with normal brain function.

Loss of brain function can happen without visible damage to the head. The force applied to the head may cause the brain to be directly injured or shaken which may cause it to bounce around the skull and cause bleeding in the spaces surrounding the brain, generate bruises on the brain tissue, or damage the nerves connected to the brain.

Blunt head trauma

The symptoms of a blunt head trauma can develop immediately or arise steadily within a few hours or even days.

It is important to remember that a head injury can have various signs and symptoms ranging from no initial symptoms to a coma.

Depending on what caused the damage and the primary symptoms of the victim. Symptoms such as loss of consciousness, even for a brief span of time is not usual. Prolonged episodes of confusion, seizures as well as several episodes of vomiting are signs that medical care is needed.

What are the signs of blunt head trauma?

The symptoms of a blunt head trauma can develop immediately or arise steadily within a few hours or even days. The serious signs that can arise from a head injury include:

  • Convulsions
  • Changes in pupil size
  • Difficulty moving one or more limbs
  • Irritability
  • Changes in personality
  • Erratic behavior
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Lack of coordination
  • Painful headaches
  • Difficulty in speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting

Injuries to the head can lead to severe damages to the brain. Severe head trauma can lead to complications such as speech and language issues, coma, painful headaches that return, paralysis, seizures, changes in senses such as hearing, taste, taste or smell.


Call 911 immediately if someone sustains a significant head injury. This also includes people who suddenly lose consciousness and do not immediately awaken and return to normal as well as those who show symptoms such as weakness or numbness in the body, those who have difficulty speaking, or has vision loss. These symptoms are the same to someone experiencing a stroke.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on blunt head trauma is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage blunt head trauma by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

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