Subdural hematomas signs symptoms and Treatment

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms for acute subdural hematoma manifests immediately, while chronic subdural hematoma can show up after days to even weeks. All age groups are susceptible to developing subdural hematomas from vehicle accidents. Clinical presentation for subdural hematoma is insidious with symptoms that include the following: decrease level of consciousness or completely unconscious, severe headache, drowsiness, convulsions, coma, difficulty with balance, personality variation, motor deficit, cognitive dysfunction usually accompanied by memory loss, seizures, loss of consciousness and amnesia. Signs of increased intracranial pressure, such as seizures, headache and vomiting are manifested more on the younger individuals (Hockenberry 2014).


Small subdural hematomas that do not cause symptoms may not need a treatment. According to Akifumi et al. (2016), surgical removal of the hematoma is usually done where the blood that leaked into the brain is drained from burr holes drilled into the skull where the surgeon creates small holes in the patient’s skull and then places rubber tubes in them.But before surgery, adequate respiration should be maintained to avoid hypoxia and also the patients’ blood pressure be kept in check. Hypoxia and hypotension can be dangerous in patients with head injury during surgery (Kolias et al 2013).

Considering that the recovery rates vary, 80 to 90 percent of patients experience substantial brain function improvement after the surgical procedure. Craniotomy can be done to remove a large clot or to tie off the vein that is bleeding. As must as craniotomy is life-saving, it has risks and studies show that approximately 18 percent of the patients die within 30 days of the surgery. Medications are given to patients, such as corticosteroids and diuretics, which assist in preventing swelling in the brain. The administration of the drugs are dependent on age of an individual and the extent of the injury. After a surgical procedure, anticonvulsant drugs are given to control or prevent seizures which comes up as late as two years after the head injury (Akifumi et al. 2015).


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