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Acute subdural hematomas are deadly without rapid treatment

Car accidents can cause your body, and particularly your head, to be flung around the inside of your vehicle. While you are being flung around, you might slam your head on the dashboard, steering wheel or window. Impacts like that can lead to serious damage. One of the possible injuries that can occur is an acute subdural hematoma.

An acute subdural hematoma is a bleed between the brain's outer covering and the skull. When the blood vessels on the brain's surface are torn or stretched, they might begin to bleed. This will usually cause a blood clot or a pool of blood to form.

An acute subdural hematoma that is caused by a traumatic event, such as a motor vehicle crash, is one of the most lethal head injuries that can occur. This is because the bleed can put pressure on the brain. As the bleed gets worse, the pressure on the brain increases. The brain is sensitive so this pressure can have a profound negative effect on the brain.

In the case of an acute subdural hematoma, immediate surgery is usually needed. This surgery is often done as an emergency surgery because relieving the pressure on the brain is the only treatment for this condition. Sadly, even with treatment, the mortality rate for this injury is 50 to 90 percent. Rapid treatment can improve a patient's odds of overcoming this condition.

Emergency treatment and follow-up treatment for this condition can get expensive. You might opt to seek compensation for your injuries if the accident you were in was caused by another driver.

Source: UCLA Neurosurgery, "Acute Subdural Hematomas," accessed Jan. 15, 2016

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