Head injuries are common in accidents and can lead to serious health complications. One common type of head injury is a hematoma, which occurs when blood collects outside of blood vessels. Two types of hematomas that can occur in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are epidural hematoma and subdural hematoma. Understanding the differences between the two is important when it comes to pursuing legal action.
What is an Epidural Hematoma?
An epidural hematoma is a type of bleeding that occurs between the outer membrane of the brain and the skull. It usually results from a skull fracture that tears one of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. The bleeding can cause pressure to build up in the brain rapidly and often within hours of the injury.
Traumatic and non-traumatic mechanisms can cause an epidural hematoma, and it occurs more commonly in adolescents and young adults. This is due to the tissue covering the brain not being as closely attached to the skull, creating a higher probability for an epidural hematoma.
What is a Subdural Hematoma?
A subdural hematoma, on the other hand, is a collection of blood in the space between the outer and middle layers of tissue covering the brain. It is typically caused by trauma that causes the brain to move inside the skull, tearing the veins that drain blood from the brain’s surface.
Subdural hematomas can be acute or chronic, depending on the speed and amount of bleeding. Acute subdural hematomas develop within hours or days of the injury, while chronic subdural hematomas may take weeks or months to develop.
Subdural hematomas are more common in older individuals, as the brain shrinks with age and the veins connecting the brain to the dura become more fragile.
Typical Symptoms of Epidural and Subdural Hematomas
Epidural and subdural hematomas are traumatic brain injuries that both involve bleeding in the brain, but they have different locations and characteristics.
Epidural hematomas are more immediate and easier to diagnose and treat. Not doing so can lead to neurological symptoms such as:
- Vomiting or Nausea
- Severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
Subdural hematomas can be more subtle and complex, sharing similar symptoms to those of an epidural hematoma. Typical symptoms include :
- Severe headaches
- Blurred Vision
Treatment will depend on the size, pressure and location of the hematoma, as well as other factors.
What Can Cause Epidural and Subdural Hematomas?
These TBIs are serious medical conditions that can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from a simple bump on the head to a severe traumatic injury.
Here are some common causes of these conditions:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries/Head injuries
- Physical assaults
They can also be caused by certain medical conditions that affect blood clotting, such as hemophilia or anticoagulant medication use. In some cases, they may be caused by spontaneous bleeding due to an underlying condition like an aneurysm or a brain tumor.
Which TBI is more Dangerous?
Epidural hematomas are easier to diagnose and treat compared to subdural hematomas. They require immediate medical attention, including surgical removal of the clot to prevent brain damage and death. Subdural hematomas are more complex and can be more complicated to link to a specific cause, as they may not show up on immediate medical tests or imaging. They often manifest with subtle or delayed symptoms, and it may take days or weeks of observation and follow-up tests to confirm the presence and severity of a subdural hematoma.
If a person suffers a subdural hematoma due to someone else’s negligence, they may have to provide extensive medical evidence and legal arguments to prove causation and liability.
A hematoma is similar to a hemorrhage, but a hemorrhage refers to ongoing bleeding while the blood in a hematoma has typically already clotted.
Subdural hemorrhages and subdural hematomas are both terms used to describe bleeding that occurs between the dura mater (the outermost layer of the brain covering) and the arachnoid mater (the middle layer of the brain covering). However, there are some differences between the two terms.
A subdural hemorrhage refers to the presence of blood in the subdural space, which is the space between the dura mater and the arachnoid mater. The blood may be the result of trauma, such as a head injury, or it may occur spontaneously in certain medical conditions.
Contact Us to Represent You in Your Traumatic Brain Injury Case!
Both epidural and subdural hematomas can have severe consequences and can result in substantial medical expenses and lost wages. If you or a loved one has suffered a hematoma due to the negligence of another party, you have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you navigate the legal system and obtain the compensation you deserve, just like we have done for thousands of clients! Don’t hesitate to seek legal help, schedule a free consultation at 888-572-9251 and one of our expert attorneys will hear your case.