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bleeding

Hematoma Symptoms

What are the Symptoms of a Hematoma?

Symptoms of an epidural hematoma depend on how badly the brain has been injured. A commonly reported symptom is a brief period of unconsciousness, followed by a period of alertness before returning to unconsciousness or even coma. The following symptoms may indicate that a person has sustained an epidural hematoma:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Enlarged pupil
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body
  • Bruises around the eyes/ears
  • Clear fluid draining from the nose/ears
  • Shortness of breath/changes in breathing patterns

Diagnosis

If an epidural hematoma is suspected, the patient’s doctor will perform a neurological test. Additional tests may be required to determine the size and location of the hematoma. Common tests used to diagnose an epidural hematoma include:

  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan to illuminate the fine details of the brain
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to examine soft tissue
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) to assess the brain’s electrical activity
  • Blood Tests

How are Hematomas Treated?

Treatments vary depending on the severity and location of the trauma:

  • Small epidural hematomas with little or no pressure on the brain can be treated without the need for surgical intervention.
  • Severe, unusual headache and decreased brain function, or a hematoma that is larger than 1 cm, typically requires surgery.
  • Epidural hematoma surgery involves removing the clot to decrease pressure on the brain, and stopping bleeding to prevent another hematoma

Prognosis(Outlook)

A patient’s long-term outlook is more favorable if there was a lucid interval (a period of consciousness before coma returns) than if the patient had lapsed into a coma immediately following the injury. Unlike most forms of traumatic brain injury, people with epidural hematoma and a Glasgow Coma Score of 15 (the highest score, indicating the best prognosis) are expected to make a full if they can be treated in a timely manner.