Bleeding Under The Skull – Subdural Bleeding

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Last Medical Review: March 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Costa Navarro

A subdural hemorrhage is a hemorrhage between the brain and the skull. You can get such bleeding after a blow to the head. The blood that accumulates under the skull presses against the brain and can cause you to become tired or unconscious. Another word for subdural hemorrhage is the subdural hematoma.

Chronic subdural hematoma is another form of bleeding under the skull. It can also be caused by minor injuries and sometimes you don’t even remember being hit in the head. The bleeding may vary in size. The blood, and the fluid accumulation that can be formed around the bleeding, leads to a swelling that presses against the brain. It is most common in the elderly to have such bleeding. This is partly due to the fact that the elderly have more fragile vessels.

Symptoms

You may feel tired and confused if you have a bleeding under the skull. In addition, you can

  • get a headache
  • get cramps
  • become unconscious.

If you get a chronic subdural hematoma, the symptoms will not come until several weeks after the injury. You may then become drowsy or tired, have easier headaches or become confused.

When and where should I seek care?

Contact a health care center if you have a headache, dizziness or are tired for more than a week after the blow to the head.

If you have one or more of the following problems, contact a health care center or an on-call clinic immediately:

  • You fail at the time of the injury, even if it is a very short time.
  • You become worse for a while after the injury, for example, get more headaches or become dizzy, confused, or if it has been difficult to get in touch with you.
  • You start feeling sick and vomit a few hours or days after the blow to the head.
  • You get bruises around both eyes, or behind both ears. It may take a day before the bruises appear.

If it is closed at the health center or on-call reception, seek care at an emergency room.

Treatment

If you have had minor bleeding, you usually do not need any treatment as such bleeding recurs by itself after a few weeks or months. You usually get well without treatment, but you may need to go on several medical exams.

If you have had a major bleeding, you may need surgery. In such an operation, the blood is drawn out.

You are often hospitalized for observation after bleeding.

Investigation

If the doctor suspects that you have had a bleeding under the skull, they will do a computed tomography on you, also called computerized X-ray. Computed tomography is a form of x-ray that can provide more information than regular x-rays.

Drugs can increase the risk

Blood thinners may increase the risk of subdural bleeding. Waran and other plug preventive drugs are examples of such blood thinners.

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