(Extra-axial Haematoma; Subdural Haemorrhage; SDH)
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- Acute—symptoms appear soon after the injury
- Subacute—symptoms appear a few days after the injury
- Chronic—bleeding is slower and symptoms only appear weeks after the injury
- Loss of consciousness
- Bruising around the head or eyes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Personality changes
- Limb weakness
- Speech difficulties
- Vision problems
- Neurological examination
- EEG (electroencephalogram)
- Neuropsychological testing
Monitor and Observe
- Antiseizure medication—if seizures have occurred
- Steroids—to decrease brain swelling.
- A small hole may be made in the scalp and skull. It will allow the blood clot to drain out of the skull.
- A section of the skull may be removed. This is called a craniotomy.
- Wear proper helmets when playing sports and riding a bike or motorcycle.
- Use a seat belt while traveling in car.
- Reduce the risk of a fall or injury. Safeguard your home and workplace.
- Have regular blood tests if you are taking blood thinning medicine.
Limit your alcohol intake to a moderate level. This means:
- Two or fewer drinks per day for men
- One or fewer drinks per day for women
American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery http://www.entnet.org
Brain Injury Association of America http://www.biausa.org
The Brain Injury Association of Canada http://biac-aclc.ca
Ontario Brain Injury Association http://www.obia.on.ca
Chronic and subacute subdural hematoma. Barnabas Health website. Available at: http://www.barnabashealth.org/hospitals/saint%5Fbarnabas/mservices/neurosciences/neurosurgery/brain/hematoma.html. Accessed August 21, 2013.
Servadei F, Compagnone C, et al. The role of surgery in traumatic brain injury. Curr Opin Crit Care. 2007;13:163-168.
Subdural hematoma. EBSCO Dynamed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated July 19, 2013. Accessed August 21, 2013.
Subdural haematoma. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/27001513/. Updated September 28, 2011. Accessed August 21, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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