What is Epidural Hematoma?
Epidural or Extradural hematoma is a serious medical condition in which there is collection of blood between the dura mater and the skull. This condition is generally caused by a traumatic head injury. Since the spine is also covered by the dura mater, epidural bleeds may also take place in the spinal column. This is a serious condition since the collection of blood increases pressure on the intracranial space and compresses the brain tissue causing a brain shift. Epidural hematoma occurs in approximately 1-3% of head injuries. This condition can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Causes of Epidural or Extradural Hematoma
Epidural hematoma is a very rare condition. The most common cause of this condition is a forceful impact injuring the head, for example in contact sports with the ball hitting the head or a collision between players. Such condition can also occur when being involved in road accidents or falling on the head.
Signs of Epidural or Extradural Hematoma
- Relentless headache.
- Momentary loss of consciousness.
- Presence of dizziness and vomiting.
- The pupil on the affected side gets dilated.
- Weakness of limbs and muscles on the side opposite to the side of the injury.
Treatment of Epidural or Extradural Hematoma
- Immediate medical attention is imperative after the injury.
- Head imaging with an MRI or a CT is done for confirmatory diagnosis and to identify the degree of the bleed.
- A surgical procedure generally becomes necessary for drainage of blood and prevents bleeding.
- Post surgery, the patient needs to be put under close observation to look for any signs of persistent bleeding or build up of pressure in the head.