A subdural haematoma is a serious condition where blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain. It's usually caused by a head injury.
Symptoms of a subdural haematoma can include:
The symptomscan develop soon after a severe head injury (acute subdural haematoma), or very occasionally a few days or weeks after a more minor head injury (subacute or chronic subdural haematoma).
Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department , or dial 999 to request an ambulance.
If you develop the symptoms above any time after a minor head injury, you should also go to your nearest A&E department or call 999 for an ambulance as soon as possible.
A subdural haematoma can be very serious and needs to be assessed as quickly as possible.
Blood escapes from the blood vessel, leading to the formation of a blood clot (haematoma) that places pressure on the brain and damages it.
Head injuries that cause subdural haematomas are often severe, such as those from a car crash, fall or violent assault. However, minor bumps to the head can also lead to a subdural haematoma in a few cases.
A minor head injury is more likely to lead to a subdural haematoma if you're over 60 years of age, taking blood-thinning medication such as warfarin , or have a history of alcohol misuse .
The two most widely used surgical techniquesfor subdural haematomas are:
In a few cases, very small subdural haematomas may be carefully monitored first to see if they heal without having an operation.
Read moreabout treatingsubdural haematomas .
A subdural haematoma is a serious condition thatcarries a high risk of death, particularly in older people and those whose brain was severely damaged.
Acute subdural haematomas are the most serious type because they're often associated with significant damage to the brain. Those who survive an acute subdural haematoma maytake a long time to recover and may be left withphysical and mental disabilities.
The outlook is generally better for subacute and chronic haematomas. Most people who are fit enough to have surgery eventually make a full recovery. However,because many people with these types of haematoma are older, they may be too frail to have treatment.
A subdural haematoma is a serious condition where blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain. Find out why it happens, what the symptoms are, and how it's treated.
Read about the main symptoms of a subdural haematoma and find out what to do if you think you have one.
Read about the main causes of subdural haematomas and find out who's most at risk of developing one.
Read about how subdural haematomas are diagnosed, including how the symptoms are assessed and what scans are carried out.
Read about how subdural haematomas are treated, including what types of surgery may be carried out and what the risks of treatment are.
Read more about recovering from a subdural haematoma, including the problems you may experience and what support is available.