Hematoma is collection of blood and forming a clot in extracellular space due to leakage of blood from the blood vessels. Hematoma occurs when the blood vessel ruptures and blood is leaked out. It can occur anywhere in the body, either on the body surface or in the internal organs of the body. Hematoma on skin surface or in limbs is easy to detect, where as hematoma in internal organs can be recognized only if it produces any symptoms.
Brian hematoma occurs when the blood vessel in the brain ruptures. Blood leaks out from the vessels and gets collected in the space between the skull and the brain. It can occur as a result of trauma to the skull as in car accident or the cause can be due to internal factor such as rupture of blood vessel from high blood pressure.
Hematoma in brain can have serious repercussions such as loss of consciousness, stroke etc. A large brain hematoma can be fatal. In view of this fact, brain hematoma needs to be treated immediately. Sometimes surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the collected blood.
What Are The Causes Of Brain Hematoma?
Several causes can lead to mass of clotted blood in the brain, which we refer to as brain hematoma.
- Head injury: is one of the most common causes for brain hematoma. Often a car accident or motorbike accident can cause skull injury. The blood vessels in the brain can rupture forming a mass of blood clot called hematoma.
- High blood pressure: long standing high blood pressure can make the artery walls of brain thin. At some point of time the blood can leak from the brain vessels and form a clot. A large clot can compress the brain leading to several neurological complications.
- Age: elderly individuals are at a greater risk of suffering from brain hematoma, especially if they are taking blood thinning agents such as aspirin and other anti-platelet medicines. A mild injury to the head can lead to hematoma in the brain.
- Abnormalities of blood vessels that may be present since birth or later in life. Example are arteriovenous shunts and aneurysm.
- Bleeding disorders like sickle cell anemia, hemophilia.
- Autoimmune disease.
- Tumors in brain.
Symptoms Of Hematoma In Brain
The signs and symptoms of brain hematoma may depend on how large the mass of clotted blood is. It also depends on its location in the brain. Further, the symptoms may be acute in onset or they may take few days or weeks to appear. Some of the common symptoms which brain hematoma produce are:
- Severe headache of sudden onset.
- Patient having seizures without any previous history of seizures.
- Vomiting continuously.
- Drowsiness and feeling sleepy all the time.
- Pupil size becomes unequal. This means pupil in one eye may be bigger and pupil in other eye is pin point size.
- Weakness in limbs. It can be in single limb or limbs of one side.
- Blurred vision.
- Slurred speech.
- Blood pressure may be raised.
- Loss of memory.
- And finally loss of consciousness.
Hematoma In The Brain Treatment
The treatment of brain hematoma depends on many factors. If the hematoma is small and if it is not causing any problem, patient may need only careful observation. If hematoma is larger in size and it gives rise to adverse symptoms, he may need medications to reduce the swelling.
If the hematoma is large in size and if it compresses the vital parts of the brain, the clot has to be removed surgically. Such an operation is called craniotomy. Despite the treatment, it may take time for full recovery from the symptoms.
Since most of the time brain hematoma is associated with hypertension, motorbike and car accidents, it can be prevented if people take certain precautions such as wearing protective gear on the head while driving motorbike, fastening seat belts while driving etc.
Taking regular medicines for hypertension keeps control of blood pressure. If you are taking any blood thinners, you should follow up regularly with your doctor.