Head Trauma (Injury)

Overview of Head Trauma (Injury)

Head injury includes various injuries that could result in a head or skull or brain trauma. They can be mild or severe depending upon the damage. It can also be caused by shaking.

Signs and Symptoms of Head Trauma (Injury)

Any injury to the head can cause many complications. It can result in haemorrhage, permanent damage, and sometimes even death. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment is given.

Head Injury (Sar ki chot / سر کی چوٹ) is a trauma to the brain, skull, or scalp is considered as a head injury. It can be serious or just a minor bump and bruise. The most common type of head injury is concussion but wounds and fractures can also occur.

Head injuries can be open or closed:

  • A close injury is that in which the skull does not break but a blunt blow to the head is received.
  • An open injury is in which the skull breaks. It can be due to a high impact trauma on the head.

Mild head injuries can result in trauma or concussion while severe can result in brain injuries and death. Injuries affecting the brain are called Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI.

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Types of Head Trauma (Injury)

Signs of a head injury can be seen within a few minutes to a few hours. A head injury can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain.

Minor signs and symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Feeling groggy
  • Balance problems
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble focusing and remembering
  • Nausea 
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Memory loss

Major signs and symptoms that require immediate treatment include:

  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Bruising
  • Fracture in the skull
  • Clear or bloody fluid leakage
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low breathing rate
  • Serious disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to focus the eyes
  • Persistent, worsening headache
  • Change in size of pupils

Risk Factors of Head Trauma (Injury)

A head injury can occur due to a blow to the head or due to violent shaking. Causes include:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Recreational activities
  • Falls
  • Abuse
  • Violent acts
  • Sport accidents
  • Physical Assault

Head injuries in infants and children are caused by shaking or abuse.



People who are at high risk include:

  • Males (No specific age group)
  • Children, especially newborns to 4 years old. 
  • Young adults between the age of 15 to 24. 
  • People above the age of 60 years. 

Complications Due to Head Injury

Several injuries can occur soon after or immediately after a head injury.

Prolonged and permanent changes in a person's state of consciousness, responsiveness, and awareness are often observed. Some of the complications include:

Seizures: Some people with traumatic injury develop seizures. These can occur in the earlier stages or in later years.  These can get recurrent and result in post-traumatic epilepsy.

Hydrocephalus: A condition where cerebrospinal fluid may build up in the spaces in the brain and can cause swelling and pressure.

Infections: Penetrating wounds and skull injuries can cause tears in the tissues surrounding the brain. This can enable bacteria to enter and cause infections.

Blood Vessel Damage: Several blood vessels, both small and large get damaged while having an injury. This damage can lead to blood clotting and even a stroke.

Headaches: Frequent headaches are quite common after a head injury. They may begin right after the injury but can stay for a longer period of time.

Vertigo: A lot of people experience vertigo after an injury. It is characterized by feeling dizziness after a traumatic injury.

Traumatic injuries at the base of the skull can cause damage to the nerves(cranial nerves), emerging directly from the brain. Cranial nerve damage can result in:

  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Blurred or poor vision 
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Hearing Loss
  • Swallowing issues


There are a number of ways to sustain a traumatic head injury. A few of the tips are given below.

  • Wear your seat belt if you're driving a car. And use headgear while riding a bike. 
  • Prevent adult falls by talking to your doctor about your risk of falling associated with your increasing age. 
  • Have your eyes checked once a year and change your glasses whenever there's a change in your eyesight. 
  • Protect children by making the living and play areas safer. Insert window guards, add safety gates on the stairs, and make sure to use soft material on your child’s playground.

Treatment of Head Trauma (Injury) | When to Consult a Doctor

The doctor asks about the circumstances that lead to the injury and looks for the signs of trauma. A 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is conducted to learn about the severity of the injury.

A neurological exam may need to be performed. Imaging is done to look for clotting, internal bleeding, swelling, and fractures.

Doctors to treat Head Trauma (Injury)

Last updated on Friday 14/10/2022


Prof. Dr. Mansab Ali

Laparoscopic Surgeon, General Surgeon | MBBS, FCPS, FACS

Doctors HospitalRs 3000


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The doctor was really good and thanks to Healthwire for their services.


Dr. Maratab Ali

General Surgeon | MBBS, FCPS, FRCS

Doctors HospitalRs 3000


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Highly Recommended


Dr. Aamir Aziz

Neurosurgeon | MBBS, FCPS

Masood HospitalRs 3000


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A caring & humble person with command & expertise in his field of neurosurgery.

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