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Subdural Hematoma FAQs | Georgia Neurosurgical Institute

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Subdural Hematoma FAQs – What You Need to Know

A subdural hematoma is a serious condition that should not be ignored. What is a subdural hematoma? What causes a subdural hematoma? What are the symptoms, and how can a subdural hematoma be treated? Keep reading to find out.

What is a Subdural Hematoma?

Blood gathers between the skull and the surface of the brain in the dangerous condition known as a subdural hematoma. A head injury is the most common cause.

What Causes a Subdural Hematoma?

Subdural hematomas are frequently caused by serious head injuries, such as those sustained in a vehicle accident, a fall, or a violent assault. In a rare situation, minor head impacts might result in a subdural hematoma. A subdural hematoma occurs when blood arteries in the brain or the brain itself are damaged, causing bleeding into the area between the skull and the brain (the subdural space). As blood builds up in the subdural region, it exerts pressure on the brain, potentially causing injury.

Who’s most at risk?

After a serious head injury, anybody can develop a subdural hematoma. A few weeks after a mild head injury, chronic subdural hematomas develop. These are more frequent among the elderly, as well as individuals who use blood thinners, drink heavily, or have another medical condition.

Other conditions

An increased risk of chronic subdural hematoma has also been linked with:

  • Brain aneurysms
  • Epilepsy
  • Having a ventriculoperitoneal shunt
  • Hemophilia
  • Malignant brain tumors

What Are the Symptoms of a Subdural Hematoma?

A subdural hematoma’s symptoms might appear suddenly after a severe head injury or gradually over days or weeks following a less serious head injury. It’s possible that you won’t recall striking your head at all.

Symptoms of a subdural hematoma can include:

  • A headache that keeps getting worse
  • Confusion
  • Feeling and being sick
  • Feeling drowsy and finding it difficult to keep your eyes open
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paralysis (loss of movement) on one side of the body
  • Personality changes, such as being unusually aggressive or having rapid mood swings
  • Problems walking and frequent falls
  • Problems with your vision, such as double vision
  • Speech problems, such as slurred speech

These symptoms can often be mistaken for other conditions, such as strokes, infections, or dementia.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention if I Suspect a Subdural Hematoma?

If you or someone you know could have a subdural hematoma, seek medical assistance immediately. Either get driven to the nearest emergency center or call an ambulance as soon as possible. This is a dangerous condition and time is an important aspect in diagnosing and treating the bleed.

What Are the Treatment Options for a Subdural Hematoma?

A person’s medical history, symptoms, and the findings of a brain scan are used to identify subdural hematomas. The majority of subdural hematomas require surgery. Small subdural hematomas can be closely watched to see if they recover without the need for surgery. If surgery is recommended, it’ll be carried out by one of GNI’s expert neurosurgeons. The two popular techniques used to treat subdural hematomas include:

  • Craniotomy– A piece of the skull is temporarily removed to provide the surgeon access to the hematoma and remove it.
  • Burr holes– A small hole is drilled into the skull and a tube is inserted through the hole to drain the hematoma.

Call us today if you suspect a subdural hematoma: 478-743-7092