Effects of subdural hematomas

Subdural hematoma is a collection of blood between the layers of the tissue covering the brain. It arises when a head injury tears any large veins that removes blood from the surface of the brain. Bleeding often results from head injury, but there are other causes. In young individuals, even a minor head injury can lead to subdural hematoma. Brain damage may be accountable for primary and secondary brain damage. Primary brain damage arises from a direct mechanical damage at the time of injury, while the secondary injury is caused by cellular damage that advances hours or days after injury. Children are more susceptible to head injuries than adults because they have thinner bones and a weaker immune system. For a severity of a pediatric head injury to be determined, a detailed history about the injury mechanism is done (Weigel et al 2013).

Motor-vehicle accidents accounts for a large number of emergency departmental visits and hospital admissions every year and remains a major cause of death and permanent brain damage in children, which later arises from subdural hematomas which range from life threatening to minor effects and this depends on the amount of blood released and the severity of the injury to other brain tissues. In the case of small subdural hematomas, the blood is reabsorbed slowly over several weeks without significant damage. Larger hematomas on the other hand progressively get bigger even after the bleeding has stopped. This will then increase intracranial pressure inside the skull and can compress the brain. If the blood is not removed and the pressure not relieved by surgical intervention, it can cause permanent brain damage or death.

There are two forms of subdural hematomas acute subdural hematomas and chronic subdural hematomas. Chronic subdural hematomas manifest after an injury and are usually associated with an underlying cerebral laceration and surgery is usually not indicated unless if there is progressive enlargement with an increasing mass effect. Chronic subdural hematomas are generally found in younger children, the child should be well examined for another indication of trauma in the brain.

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