A hematoma is a collection of blood. A subdural hematoma (SDH) happens in the space between the covering of brain (the dura) and the brain. It can put pressure on the brain.
SDH is most often caused by a head injury. This may be due to traumas such as car accidents, assault, and falls.
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This problem is more common in men, older adults, infants, and toddlers, and people on blood-thinning medicines. Other things that may raise the risk are:
The blood may pool quickly or take some time to build up. This will affect how fast symptoms happen.
Problems may be:
- Changes in thinking or behavior
- Bruising around the head or eyes
- Vision problems
- Speech problems
- Loss of consciousness
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Pictures may be taken of the brain and the structures around it. This can be done with:
Treatment will depend on the size and severity of the SDH. It will also depend on the symptoms a person is having. Options are:
- Monitoring the injury for changes
- Medicines to ease brain swelling, such as steroids
- Surgery to ease pressure on the brain
This problem is often caused by a head injury. These can be hard to prevent.
Fomchenko EI, Gilmore EJ, et al. Management of Subdural Hematomas: Part I. Medical Management of Subdural Hematomas. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2018 Jun 23;20(8):28.
Subdural hematoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/subdural-hematoma. Accessed October 7, 2020.
Subdural haematoma. Patient UK website. Available at: http://patient.info/health/subdural-haematoma-leaflet. Accessed October 7, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 5/25/2021