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Home :: Head Injury Cerebral Contusion

Head Injury, Cerebral Contusion

Bruising of the brain following a blow. Contusions cause bleeding from ruptured small capillaries that allow blood to infiltrate brain tissue.


  • Brain.
  • Skin, subcutaneous tissue, blood vessels(both large vessels and capillaries), periosteum (the outside lining of the skull), muscles of the scalp and connective tissue.


Direct blow to the head, usually from a blunt object.

Signs & Symptoms

Depends on the extent of injury. The presence or absence of swelling at the injury site is not related to the seriousness of injury. Signs and symptoms include any or all of the following:

  • Drowsiness or confusion.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Pupils of different size.
  • Loss of consciousness - either temporarily or for long periods.
  • Amnesia or memory lapses.
  • Irritability.
  • Headache.
  • Bleeding of the scalp, if the skin is broken.


Follow your doctor's instructions. Instructions are supplemental.

  • The extent of injury can be determined only with careful examination and observation. After a doctor's examination, the injured person may be sent home, but a responsible person must stay with the person and watch for serious symptoms. The first 24 hours after injury are critical, although serious aftereffects can appear later. If you are watching the patient, awaken him or her every hour for 24 hours. Report to the doctor immediately if you can't awaken or arouse the person. Report also any of the following:
  • Vomiting.
  • Inability to move the arms and legs equally well on both sides.
  • Temperature above 100F (37.8C).
  • Stiff neck.
  • Pupils of unequal size or shape.
  • Convulsions.
  • Noticeable restlessness.
  • Severe headache that persists longer than 4 hours after injury.
  • Confusion.


Don't use any medicine-including non-prescription acetaminophen or aspirin-until the extent of injury is certain.

Home Diet

A full liquid diet should be followed until the danger passes.

Prevention Tips

Wear a protective helmet for any activity at risk for a head injury.

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