A bruise or an injury caused to the brain tissue leads to brain contusion. Since this condition can have long-term effects, which can even be life-threatening, medical intervention should be sought immediately, on observing the symptoms.
Brain contusion, also known as cerebral contusion occurs due to a bruise or an injury to a region of the brain. It is usually a form of traumatic brain injury, which can lead to the leakage of small blood vessels in the brain resulting in the formation of blood clots. When there is an injury to the brain, it tends to bounce against the rigid wall of the skull, causing a tearing of the blood vessels. As a result the brain swells, interrupting the motor functioning of the brain. This swelling can also result in tumors, which can be life-threatening in some cases. The long-term effects depend upon the severity of the condition, some individuals may recover from it, whereas some others may go into coma for a considerable period.
The most common cause of a contusion is a severe blow to the head. The contusion also occurs due to a center coup or coup injuries. In center coup injuries, the brain is injured on the opposite side where the impact has occurred, whereas in coup injuries, that side of the brain is directly affected. Other causes of contusions are falls, automobile accidents, catastrophic impact to the head, and attacks.
In some cases brain contusions can be minor and show a few symptoms that are not that harmful and cause no damage to the brain. The signs and symptoms of the condition may depend on the location where the swelling has occurred. There are also severe cases, in which, an individual may show the following symptoms:
- Long period of unconsciousness where the individual appears to be ignorant of the situation. The individual may also look confused, agitated, and tired.
- Loss of memory
- Inability to understand and express speech
- Experiencing emotional disturbances
- Finding it difficult to pay attention to certain things
- Improper and difficult motor coordination
- Aphasia and cognitive problems
- Severe headache followed by dizziness and vomiting
- Experiencing general body weakness
- An increase in the size of the pupil of the eyes.
Before treating cerebral contusion, it is very essential to diagnose the cause of this condition. The diagnosis to check for swelling is carried out by taking a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) or a computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain. The images taken by the scan will show the exact location of the contusion. Once the area is located, then the treatment is provided according to the severity of the condition. The basic treatment is to avoid or reduce the swelling.
It can spread to other parts of the brain resulting in intracranial pressure that may cause severe pain. If an individual experiences persistent pain in the head followed by an injury, he may require hospitalization to keep the situation under control. The recovery time of this condition depends on the cause and severity of the condition. If the condition is caused due to a blood clot in the brain, then certain blood thinning medications are prescribed by the physician. In case of severe intracranial pressure, the individual may have to undergo a surgery to reduce the pressure and swelling.
Brain contusion can be a sign of a severe injury and can even lead to brain hemorrhage. If an individual, after a head injury, does not respond to any stimulus, then he must be rushed to the hospital immediately.