Due to a head injury as a result of accidents, falls or blows to the head, there arises a life-threatening condition of a vein rupture, resulting in blood clotting and collecting on the brains' surface just underneath the skin. This condition is called a subdural hematoma.
Typical symptoms of a subdural hematoma are very similar to the symptoms of dementia, stroke, tumors or other brain-related problems like the following:
- Speech slurring
- Loss of consciousness, fainting or going into coma
- Severe headaches
- Vision problems
Complications and risks associated with subdural hematoma are determined by the extent and severity of the brain injury -
- Brain herniation which induces pressure on your brain thus causing coma or even death
- Permanent muscle weakness and numbness
Usually, the doctor will ask for:
- imaging tests like a CT or MRI scan to have a clear and in-depth picture of the brain, the skull, veins and blood vessels and also, to check if there's any blood on the brain.
- Blood test for a complete blood count
- A physical examination to check vitals - heart rate and blood pressure to rule out internal bleeding
The various treatment options are
- Craniotomy which is a surgical procedure where a part of the skull is removed with suction and irrigation to remove/treat blood clots due to large or acute subdural hematomas.
- Burr hole procedure where small holes are made on the skull and rubber tubes are inserted to drain out smaller blood clots in the hematomas
- Anti-seizure medications to counter seizures due to subdural hematoma
- Medication to treat brain injury
- Prescription of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in the brain