Head Trauma, Blunt

Head Trauma, Blunt is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Basics

Description

Blunt trauma to head resulting in a variety of injuries ranging from closed head injury to death

Etiology

Blunt trauma to head may cause several types of closed head injuries:
  • Concussion: Transient (LOC) or amnesia with normal head CT
  • Subdural hematoma: Tearing of subdural bridging veins and bleeding into the subdural space
  • Epidural hematoma: Dural arterial injury, especially the middle meningeal artery often associated with a skull fracture:
    • Classically, transient LOC followed by a lucid interval, then rapid demise
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage: Bleeding into the subarachnoid space following trauma
  • Cerebral contusion: Focal injuries to the brain characterized as coup (beneath area of impact) or contrecoup (area remote from impact)
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage: Mass intracranial lesion with bleeding into the brain parenchyma
  • Diffuse axonal injury: Microscopic injuries scattered throughout the brain in a patient in deep coma

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