Symptoms & Treatment for a Subdural Hematoma

Brain Image of a Subdural Hematoma

Subdural hematoma is an accumulation of blood outside the brain just below the dura (the membrane surrounding the brain). Subdural hematomas can result from large amount of force applied to the brain, as is experienced in a car accident. A subdural hematoma from a car accident may be classified as acute or chronic, and is among the deadliest of all head injuries. In an acute subdural hematoma, blood quickly fills the brain area and compresses brain tissue. This often results in irreparable brain injury and may lead to death if not treated promptly. In the case of chronic subdural hematomas, the blood pools more slowly and can go unnoticed for weeks until it builds up enough to cause damage.

Subdural hematomas can develop as a result of open and closed head injuries. They can occur at the site of trauma, or as a result of coup contrecoup injuries, may occur on the opposite side of the impact when the brain rocks against the inside of the skull.

For more information on the other types of hematoma, such as epidural and intracranial hematoma, click here.

Symptoms of Subdural Hematoma

  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy or confusion
  • Difficulty with balance or walking
  • Seizures
  • Numbness
  • Confused speech, slurred speech, or inability to speak
  • Visual disturbances
  • Weakness

Treatment for a Subdural Hematoma

If you have suffered a head injury in a car accident, you should seek immediate medical treatment. You will likely undergo a CT scan and MRI in the emergency department if you report a head injury; these tests are done to check for life threatening injuries.

If a subdural hematoma is detected, you will likely undergo immediate surgery to relieve the pressure on the brain. Sometimes it is necessary to drill a small hole in the skull to drain the blood and relieve the pressure. In the case of large subdural hematomas or solid blood clots, a craniotomy, which involves removing a portion of the skull, may be necessary.

Diuretics, corticosteroids, and anticonvulsants may be prescribed to reduce swelling and control seizures once the pressure has been relieved.

Complications from a Subdural Hematoma

Following a subdural hematoma, it is common for a patient to have seizures, even after the blood has been drained. These sometimes last for years, and require medication along with periodic medical supervision. Serious complications following a subdural hematoma can be life-threatening or life-changing. Other possible complications include:

  • Brain herniation, resulting in coma or death
  • Ongoing memory loss, dizziness, headache, anxiety, and problems concentrating
  • Long-term or permanent weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking

What to Do if You’ve Suffered a Subdural Hematoma in a Car Crash

If you have suffered a subdural hematoma in a car accident because of another driver’s carelessness, you may be able to receive monetary compensation for your losses. A subdural hematoma is a very serious injury, which may have long-term or even lifelong consequences. We are familiar with brain injury cases. We understand what the long-term effects are likely to be and what you and your family will be going through.

Download your free Layman’s Guide to Brain Injuries and call us today to discuss seeking a positive resolution to your claim. We will never charge you to evaluate your claim. In fact, you don’t owe us a thing until we get a winning verdict at trial or settle your case.

Jim Dodson
A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.