10 Facts About Subdural Hematoma

subdural hematoma
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What Is A Subdural Hematoma

1. Subdural Hematoma Definition

Subdural hematoma is the accumulation of blood, presence of blood clot, or actual bleeding, as the case may be, between specific layers of tissue covering the brain.

Subdural Space

This accumulation of blood or actual bleeding occurs between the dura and the arachnoid. These layers of tissue separate the brain from the skull.

Hence, the occurrence of subdural hematoma introduces lethal pressures to the brain. Considering that the skull is hard, it gives the counter pressure. The occurrence is manifested by specific symptoms.


2. Subdural Hemorrhage

Subdural hemorrhage is another term that refers to subdural hematoma. Subdural bleed also pertains to the same condition.

3. Subdural Hematoma, Nature

As we learn more on what is subdural hematoma, let’s first proceed in understanding its nature.

Subdural Hematomas take many forms. It varies in cause, size, location, effects, and time elapsed for its manifestation.

Since the bleeding takes place inside the skull, visual manifestation will become virtually impossible. Hence, neuroimaging reveals what the naked eye cannot see.

The medical history of the patient may have an important bearing in the characterization of subdural hematoma, but the display of symptoms are the apparent signs.

4. Acute vs. Chronic Subdural Hematoma

The cause and the time elapsed for its manifestation define the classification.

Acute Subdural Hematoma

Acute subdural hematoma is identified when the injury is caused by sudden collision of the head with hard objects resulting to the hematoma.

Some of the best examples of acute subdural hematoma are head trauma acquired by vehicular accident where the patient’s head bumped hard to the steering wheel; or having the head hit the road in cases of motorcycle accidents.

The accumulation and bleeding are rapid which aggravates the lethal effects of increased pressure in relation to the density of the blood accumulation.

Death may be imminent with acute subdural hematoma. The density of the blood accumulation is heavy.

The maximum time for acute subdural hematoma to manifest is 72 hours.

Chronic Subdural Hematoma

Whereas, chronic subdural hematoma refers to gradual accumulation and bleeding.

It takes days to weeks with its manifestation.

Subacute Subdural Hematoma

Though, it is possible to have subacute subdural hematoma that takes 3 to 7 days to manifest. It is the middle classification between acute and chronic.

5. What Aggravates The Risk Of Having Subdural Hematoma?

These includes heavy intake of alcohol (long-term) and anticoagulant medicines such as blood thinners and aspirins. There are some medical conditions that can also trigger poor blood clotting.

Any recent falls that involve the head hitting hard surfaces warrants immediate medical attention for the detection of possible development of subdural hematoma, especially the acute type.

Repeated head injuries also increase the risk of trauma for it places the need of taking more time for the wound to heal. Concerning this matter, wounds can also become easier to open for sudden collision may tear it off.

Special concerns are warranted for both children and elderlies since their brain tissues are still developing or expanded due to shrinkage, respectively.

6. Subdural Hematoma Symptoms

If you feel “drunk” without alcohol intake, it’s likely that blood is accumulating in your brain.

Distortion of view, speech, motion and sensation are common symptoms of subdural hematoma. Vomiting, numbness, and fatigue are also key manifestations.

7. Subdural Hematoma Treatment

Since the nature of the injury is delicate knowing that the location is one of the most important organ of the human body – the brain, emergency subdural hematoma surgery may be warranted.

It aims to remove the accumulation of blood and mitigate pressures especially in acute subdural hematoma.

For a heavy volume of blood, craniotomy is considered since it involves the actual opening of the skull.

There are medicines such as corticosteroids and diuretics that may help treat subdural hematoma especially the chronic type.

8. Subdural Hematoma Prognosis

Seizure may follow treatment of subdural hematoma since the body is responding to the adverse intrusion with the normal functioning of the brain.

Usually, doctors prescribe medicines to control any post-op subdural hematoma seizures.

Chronic subdural hematoma has better chances for successful treatment compared to the acute classification since the latter involves heavy dense of blood volume accumulation that increases lethal pressures to the brain.

Time is also an enemy for acute subdural hematoma.

9. Subdural Hematoma Recovery

The rate of subdural hematoma recovery varies among each cases for it is dependent on the degree or severity of the condition.

Most adults experience recovery up to about 6 months. Children recovers faster and more complete.

10. Complications

Since it affects the brain, subdural hematoma may cause, at worst, death or coma, and lethargy.

Something in between is comparable to what people usually feel when drunk such as impairment of vision, motion, and senses.

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