Traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases can range from mild to severe. During mild traumatic brain injuries (also called ‘concussions’) patients show no evidence of brain injury based on imaging results (CAT scan), but they may have headaches, memory problems, dizziness, nausea, confusion, difficulty sleeping, or a brief loss of consciousness.
Patients with moderate to severe brain injuries might have the same symptoms mentioned above as well as seizures, convulsions, repeated vomiting, dilated pupils, weakness or numbness, or a loss of coordination. Severe brain injury can cause patients to enter into a coma in which they are not responsive to stimulation.
The effects of TBI can vary depending on the force that impacts the head and what parts of the brain are affected. Blunt trauma will likely cause a different type of injury than a car accident or a fall. Patients can have contusions (bruises on the brain) or hematomas (collections of blood above or below the brain’s lining). There are also injuries in which nerves get stretched or torn, which can lead to bleeding.