A head contusion is defined as bruised brain tissue. Head contusions can cause the same hemorrhages (small blood vessel leaks) that you may see in another tissue bruise.Contusions happen from blows to the head and commonly occur in coup or contre-coup injuries. Coup injuries are injuries where the brain is hurt directly, and contre-coup injuries are brain injuries on the opposite side of the impact.Head contusions are a type of focal brain injury. Focal brain injuries are brain injuries that happen from direct contact between the head and another object. Focal brain injuries are different from diffuse brain injuries because focal brain injuries occur in specific locations, not all over.The head contusion may sound like a simple injury, but if left untreated, it is very likely that you could have declines in your long-term mental functioning. If severe enough, a head contusion can cause a brain herniation when parts of the brain are squeezed past parts of the skull.What Are The Sings Of A Head Contusion?Head contusions occur in about 20 to 30 percent of serious head injuries, so its important to know what the symptoms are. Head contusions are usually accompanied with weakness, lack of motor coordination, aphasia (language disorder), numbness and some memory/cognitive difficulties.Another likely sign of a head contusion is called intracranial pressure (or ICP). The head contusion may cause swelling of the surrounding brain tissue. This swelling could be made worse by toxins released because of the contusion, and generally, the swelling is at its worst at around four to six days after the injury.
How Is A Head Contusion Treated?
Cerebral swelling can be seriously dangerous, so the most important thing to treat is the swelling. High blood pressure prevention along with hyponatremia (insufficient sodium) and hypercapnia (too much carbon dioxide in the blood) prevention is key in treatment. Because of the high intracranial pressure, surgery may be necessary to reduce it.
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