Photo: Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

If your client recently sustained injury to head, neck, face, or body, or has been strangled, and is experiencing any of the red flag symptoms listed below, get medical help immediately - call 911 or get them to the nearest emergency department.

Red Flag Symptoms:

  • Neck pain
  • Loss of consciousness, in and out of consciousness
  • Confusion or irritability
  • Severe or worsening headache
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Unusual changes in behaviour
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Double vision
  • Weakness/tingling/burning in limbs

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion Signs and Symptoms


  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Poor coordination
  • Vision problems
  • Fatigue
  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity


  • Difficulty organizing thoughts
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering new information


  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Heightened emotions
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety


  • Sleeping more/less than usual
  • Trouble falling asleep

After a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury, a person can experience some of the same symptoms as experienced after a mild injury, in addition to the following:3

  • Headache that gets worse/won't go away
  • Persistent nausea/repeated vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Convulsions/seizures
  • Inability to wake from sleep
  • Enlargement of pupils (dark centre) in one or both eyes
  • Numbness/tingling of the limbs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased confusion/restlessness/agitation
  • Emotional changes (e.g., depression, anxiety, aggression, impulsivity)
  • Personality changes

Print or download the infographic below to share with your staff or your clients.


1Parachute Canada, “Concussion: The Basics,” Parachute Concussion Series, 2018. [Online]. Available:

2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion Signs and Symptoms,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017. [Online]. Available:

3Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “What are common TBI symptoms?,” 2016. [Online]. Available:

4A. Foley, Federal Way, D. Gurney (ed.), “Strangulation: Know the symptoms, save a life,” J. Emerg. Nurs., vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 89-90, 2015.