Subdural Hematoma

Causes

A subdural hematoma occurs when blood gathers on the surface of the brain, usually stemming from an injury to the head. The blood gathers as a result of tears to tiny veins around the brain. Because their veins are more fragile, senior citizens and the very young are particularly susceptible to subdural hematoma. Those on anticoagulant drugs are also at greater risk.

Symptoms

Symptoms of subdural hematoma may not be immediately noticeable, sometimes taking up to two weeks or more to appear. Once symptoms do appear, they are similar to those found in other types of brain injuries, including:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Amnesia
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of appetite

Diagnosis and Care

Doctors often perform a brain scan, such as an MRI or CT scan, to diagnose a subdural hematoma. Treatment may include oral medications, but in many cases surgery is required. This surgery involves drilling a small hole in the brain in order to relieve pressure.

If left untreated, subdural hematomas can be fatal. It is important to get expert medical care as soon as possible.

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