More than 1 million head injuries occur every year in the United States.
Because head injuries (also known as traumatic brain injuries) are common and may have devastating effects, preventing them is critical.
Traumatic brain injury is the result of a blow to the head. This can come
from a fall, a vehicle crash, an assault, or shaking a baby. The brain tissue
itself may be injured, the blood vessels can rupture and cause bleeding, or
a combination of these injuries may occur. Concussion (a
temporary loss of brain function), contusion (bruising
of the brain), fracture (broken skull bones), and hematoma (blood clot) are all types of traumatic brain
injury. The September 28, 2005, issue of JAMA includes
2 articles about head injury. This Patient Page is based on one previously
published in the June 11, 2003, issue.