Head trauma: What are the signs to watch out for?

If an individual has head trauma, it is best to call for emergency assistance right away. If the victim is not in immediate danger for further injury, do not attempt to move the individual.

Generally, the indications of head trauma are based on the seriousness of trauma and the structures of the face and head that are affected.

What happens when the emergency team arrives on the scene?

Once the individual is stabilized, the head is assessed for other injuries such as bleeding, cuts and soft tissue damage.

head trauma

Once the individual is stabilized, the head is assessed for other injuries such as bleeding, cuts and soft tissue damage.

Furthermore, the signs of traumatic brain injury that manifested from head trauma might be present right away or take time to arise. Remember that these signs also depend on the region of the brain that is impaired and if there is bleeding beneath the skull and within the brain.

What are the signs after head trauma?

  • Loss of consciousness – this can last between 1-24 hours and often considered as moderate brain injury. Consequently, if unconsciousness lasts more than 24 hours, it is considered as a severe head injury.
  • Amnesia – the individual has no memory of what occurred right before or after the head trauma occurred.
  • Lastly, disorientation or confusion occurs

What are the common signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of head trauma generally affect various functions of the body.


  • At first, difficulty with concentrating, paying attention or thinking critically occurs
  • Memory issues
  • Difficulty controlling impulses


  • Visual impairment and difficulty focusing the eyes
  • Taste disruptions
  • Hearing and taste issues
  • Altered touch sensations
  • Changes to perception to heat, pain or cold
  • In addition, difficulty feeling the body’s position in space


  • Difficulty controlling fine motor movements
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty walking and maintaining balance
  • Spasticity
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Paralysis
  • Sexual dysfunction


  • Mood swings
  • Irritability and anger
  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Lastly, loss of sense of inhibition

Generally, head trauma and brain injury are complex symptoms that necessitate special medical care, rehabilitation and follow-up. Luckily, the brain is capable of healing and recovering.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on head trauma is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs to watch out for, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.






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