Understanding Subdural Hematoma

Usually the result of a serious brain injury, a subdural hematoma is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain.

[Subdural Hematoma] Acute subdural hematomas occur when outside forces such as the impact from a motor vehicle accident or blunt force trauma cause the brain to rapidly accelerate and decelerate inside the skull. Movement of the brain stretches the blood vessels that connect the surface of the brain to the dura, the sheet of tissue between the brain and the skull. These are known as bridging veins. When a bridging vein is stretched too far, it will rupture, filling the subdural space with blood. This blood is now called a subdural hematoma. The subdural hematoma continues to fill the subdural space based on the rate of bleeding from the ruptured vein. Complications from subdural hematomas arise from increased pressure on the brain tissue, which can eventually lead to tearing of more blood vessels and herniation of the brain.
Posted on BrainLine November 21, 2011.

Used with permission from the Georgia Health Sciences University. www.georgiahealth.edu.