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What is a traumatic brain injury?

Falls and car accidents are two common causes of traumatic brain injuries, which occur as a result of a significant blow to the head. Effects can occur in the short-term or they can have lasting consequences. In some cases, injuries can lead to coma or death when they're particularly severe. 

Symptoms of brain injuries impact a person physically and mentally. In terms of physical symptoms accompanying mild injuries, trouble speaking, headache, fatigue, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of coordination are all common. Mild brain injuries can also cause a loss of consciousness, which can range from just a few seconds to minutes. Mental symptoms include changes in mood and trouble concentrating. A person may also experience anxiety and depression as a result of the incident. 

With severe injuries, symptoms tend to be more serious and often have a lasting effect. One or both pupils may be dilated and the person may suffer from seizures. Headaches might also occur, but these tend to be longlasting with more serious injuries. With severe injuries, loss of consciousness can occur for minutes or even hours. Confusion, an agitated state, and slurring of speech are also common with these types of injuries. Immediate medical intervention is recommended when a person experiences any of the above symptoms after receiving a blow to the head. 

Severe head injuries also have a higher risk of complications, including coma. Coma is a state of unconsciousness where a person is unresponsive. A person may also enter a minimally conscious state or vegetative state, where there is some level of awareness but serious impairment is still an issue. Major complications can also impact a person's ability to communicate, retain memories, or make decisions. 

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