A subdural hematoma is an increase in pressure within the skull
that happens when blood collects in the space between the skull and the brain.
The bleeding is usually caused by torn veins in the brain following a head
Symptoms of a subdural hematoma, which can develop rapidly or
If the bleeding is severe, symptoms may develop within minutes or
hours. In babies, one or both of the two soft spots on the head (fontanelles)
If the bleeding is minimal, symptoms may not develop for weeks.
Even after the bleeding has stopped and the blood has clotted, fluid from
surrounding tissues can be absorbed into the space, slowly increasing the
pressure within the skull.
April 5, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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