Subdural hematoma

Alternative Names

Subdural hemorrhage

Definition of Subdural hematoma

A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Subdural hematomas are usually the result of a serious head injury. When one occurs in this way, it is called an “acute” subdural hematoma. Acute subdural hematomas are among the deadliest of all head injuries. The bleeding fills the brain area very rapidly, compressing brain tissue. This often results in brain injury and may lead to death.

Signs and tests

Always get medical help after a head injury. Older persons should receive medical care if they shows signs of memory problems or mental decline. An exam should include a complete neurologic exam.

Treatment

A subdural hematoma is an emergency condition.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook following a subdural hematoma varies widely depending on the type and location of head injury, the size of the blood collection, and how quickly treatment is obtained.

Review

Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 6/28/2010

Subdural hematoma
Increased intracranial pressure

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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