Brain Injuries and Mass Trauma Events

Brain injuries can occur during damage caused by an accident (mass trauma event). Examples of these events include auto or industrial accidents, and falls from a home roof or ladder. If you think you, or someone you know, has a brain injury, seek medical attention.


Brain injuries are caused by a blow or jolt to the head that can disrupt the normal function of the brain. These injuries can range from mild to severe. Mild brain injuries are called concussions. They are usually not life-threatening. But sometimes, even mild brain injuries can cause serious, long-lasting problems.


The signs of a brain injury may be slight. Patients, family members, and caregivers may miss these problems. People with a brain injury may look fine, even though they are acting or feeling differently. The most common signs include:

  • Problems with thinking, remembering, speaking, or reading.

  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating.

  • Confusion, getting lost (disorientation).

  • Mood changes (feeling sad or angry, for no reason).

  • Being easily irritated.

  • Depression.

  • Changes in sleeping pattern.

  • Headaches that will not go away.

  • Loss of energy and motivation (feeling tired).

  • Neck pain.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Dizziness.


  • Your caregiver may refer you to specialists. These include:

  • Neurologists.

  • Neuropsychologists.

  • Neurosurgeons.

  • Specialists in rehabilitation. One example is a speech pathologist. This is a specialist who tests and treats speech, language, and swallowing problems.

  • Getting help from trained specialists, soon after the injury, may speed your recovery.