Head injury can be classified as either closed or penetrating. In closed head injury, the head sustains a blunt force by striking against an object. In penetrating head injuries, a high velocity object breaks through the skull and enters the brain. The signs and symptoms of a head injury may occur immediately or develop slowly over several hours.
Review Date 11/13/2021
Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.