Many Washington residents may think that a simple bump on the head is not a serious matter, but in some cases, such an accident can result in a subdural hematoma. Older people are particularly vulnerable to these types of injuries. If left untreated, a subdural hematoma can in some cases behave like a brain tumor and lead to impaired functioning and even death.
A subdural hematoma occurs when an injury causes blood to begin pooling around the brain over a period of days and weeks. In most cases, they heal themselves. The brain absorbs the blood and the injured person is never aware of that hematoma. However, this is not always the case. As a person ages, the brain may shrink and pull away from the membrane covering the brain in a way that leaves veins more exposed. A bump can cause those veins to tear.
Subdural hematomas often occur in injuries so minor that people do not initially remember bumping their heads. For example, in one case, a man hit his head in the attic. Weeks later, due to neurological symptoms such as trouble walking and confused thinking, he visited the doctor and ended up in emergency surgery. Another man’s hematoma was discovered after he had headaches and trouble driving.