Subdural hematoma is a significant injury to the brain that is brought about by any traumatic accident involving the head. Even though rare, it is one of the main head injuries that occur among athletes.
Who are at risk?
A subdural hematoma is brought about by a traumatic blow to the head against another player during practice or competition. Those who are involved in collision sports face the highest risk for a subdural hematoma.
Sports such as mixed martial arts, boxing, rugby and football are at highest risk for a subdural hematoma. Nevertheless, those who engage in other sports end up with the injury if a traumatic blow to the head occurred.
What are the indications?
The indications of a subdural hematoma typically include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
The individual might also appear confused, disoriented or shows an increased level of aggressiveness. There is also difficulty with simple calculations or short-term memory. Additionally, there is also an altered level of consciousness.
How does it occur?
A subdural hematoma occurs once a traumatic blow to the head results to tearing of the linking blood vessels amidst the cerebral cortex and covering of the brain or subdural space.
As the blood vessels are ripped apart, it results to bleeding into the subdural space and produce a clot or mass that crushes the cerebral cortex.
An individual suspected with subdural hematoma must be taken to the nearest emergency department for immediate assessment of the injury.
Part of the assessment is determining if the individual has a known coagulopathy or blood clotting condition such as an underlying health disorder or from medications such as aspirin or heparin.
Blood testing and other laboratory tests are vital as well. If the individual is medically stabilized, a CT scan without contrast is carried out to check for evidence of blood inside the skull, fractures as well as compression of the brain from a mass or hematoma.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on subdural hematoma is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage head injuries including subdural hematoma, register for a first aid and CPR course with Red Deer First Aid.