Intracranial hematoma: what is it and how is it treated?

An intracranial hematoma is often life-threatening. And although many others may be small, their evolution must be monitored. It is not a topic to be taken lightly, nor to pass off as a simple symptom.

This problem develops when blood builds up within the bones of the skull. The locations of this blood collection are varied and the clinical picture will change according to these locations.

One of the problems with these bruises is the pressure they place on a sensitive organ like the brain. This increased voltage damages neurons and complicates their functioning.

The mild form of intracranial hematoma is the one that manifests itself with concussion, that is, a brief loss of consciousness with full recovery. However, severe forms can also occur that lead to the death of the patient.

The pooling of blood results from a ruptured blood vessel within the skull. This can be broken by a trauma or by the spontaneous rupture of an artery, in cases of congenital malformations, for example.

Types of intracranial hematomas

Based on its location within the skull, we speak of three types of intracranial hematomas.

Subdural hematoma

Subdural hematoma It is located under the dura mater, which is one of the layers of the meninges. In the process, one or more blood vessels rupture, carrying the blood pooling to that region, where it becomes trapped. If the size is large, there is a serious risk to life.

when it’s sharp, the risk is higher. It is the one that, classically, appears immediately, after a trauma. The symptoms are not long in coming and are usually quite evident, with loss of consciousness, nausea, convulsions and pain.

Another variety is the subacute subdural hematoma, which forms progressively, showing symptoms over days or weeks. And finally, chronic subdural hematoma, which can last for months. The latter usually begins imperceptibly and develops quietly.

Types of intracranial hematomas
Intracranial hematoma is the accumulation of blood inside the skull. In severe cases, its outcome can be fatal.

epidural hematoma

This intracranial hematoma is located between the dura mater and the skull, in the outermost part of the brain, we could say. It is the closest blood collection to the outside.

The classic cause is trauma e the complication is the internal pressure they exert. It is very common for patients with this strain to go through several stages of unconsciousness.

intracerebral hematoma

It is also known as an intraparenchymal hematoma. It is found within the brain tissue, in the middle of the neurons, hence its name. It can originate from a trauma, but also when cerebrovascular accidents occur due to arterial ruptures or the presence of a congenital malformation.

Some brain tumors are also guilty of this clinical picture. Its treatment is more complicated because it involves a difficult position with serious risks of sequelae.

Treatment of intracranial hematoma

When an intracranial hematoma is detected, its size and location are established. This is achieved by imaging techniques such as CT or nuclear magnetic resonance.

If the intracranial hematoma is small, exerts no pressure, and the patient’s symptoms are stable, no specific treatment is instituted. Warning guidelines are given and it is usually double-checked after a period of time.

In larger, life-threatening cases, surgery is planned. Per se there are two forms of approach: localized drainage or craniotomy. With localized drainage, it is intended to affect the skull as little as possible.

Because of this, a hole is made in the skullcap, minimal, to insert a probe through it to drain blood from the hematoma. In large lesions it is not possible to do so and a craniotomy is used, with a frank opening of the bones.

MRI for intracranial hematoma
Imaging tests such as CT and MRI guide the diagnosis.

What to do if you suspect an intracranial hematoma?

If we have had a head injury or suffer from symptoms that make us suspect brain problems, the ideal is to consult immediately. As we said in the article, These are serious health problems that are life threatening.

Healthcare professionals will perform complementary methods to determine the presence of an intracranial hematoma, know its size and location. Based on this, they can schedule surgery, drainage, or periodic checkups.

Patients taking anticoagulant drugs should be especially careful, since they are an aggravating factor for the bruises that make the picture worse. The doctor who takes care of these patients must know from the beginning that these drugs are consumed.

Timely counseling can save a life; therefore, it is essential not to delay treatment in these cases. Intracranial hematoma is a medical emergency and should be treated as such.

The post Intracranial hematoma: what is it and how is it treated? first appeared on research-school



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