A cerebral contusion (a bruise on the brain) can be very serious. This traumatic brain injury happens when the head receives a heavy blow such as in an auto collision, a physical assault, or a fall. The brain hits the inside of the skull, and because there is not much extra room inside the skull, the swelling has nowhere to go but to push on the brain tissue causing structural damage. Cerebral contusions may be mild and heal with no lasting damage, or they may be severe causing irreversible damage, coma, or death. Any individual who experiences a blow to the head should contact the doctor.