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Intracranial Hemorrhage

Bleeding inside the skull is referred to as intracranial hemorrhage. Such bleeding can damage the brain as the result of pressure build up or blood clots. Bleeding within the skull is a serious problem because the skull does not expand and thus there is no place for the blood to go. If the blood flow is not stopped, it can quickly lead to unconsciousness or death.

In medical vernacular, a blood clot is called a hematoma. A blood clot in the brain may occur if a blood vessel between the skull and the brain ruptures, leaks blood and forms a clot. If that happens, it can press against the delicate soft tissue of the brain causing damage. Blood clots pose a very serious problem for accident victims because they may not be obvious right away. Symptoms of a blood clot may not develop for hours or even weeks after an accident. This is a poignant example of why it is so critical that anyone who is injured in an accident seek medical attention immediately, even if his or her wounds are not readily observable.

A blood clot may occur in a number of different places within the brain. If the clot is between the skull and the dura, which covers the brain, it is called an epidural hematoma. If it is located between the brain tissue itself and the dura, the clot is called a subdural hematoma.

If the bleeding or “intracranial hemorrhage” is not stopped, it can cause life-threatening damage to the brain. Surgery will generally be required to stop the bleeding or remove any blood clots. Surgery may also be used to drain the excess blood from the skull and prevent further damage.

Without intervention, intracranial bleeding will damage the delicate brain causing a loss of function, unconsciousness and death. Symptoms of bleeding within the brain can include nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of consciousness, lethargy and unequal pupil size. Again, it is critical that anyone suffering an injury to the head, face or neck area get medical attention immediately because any delay in diagnosing or treating a brain injury can lead to dire consequences for the victim.

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