Subdural Hematoma

Signs That Your Child Has This

There are a few signs and symptoms that you will want to monitor for.

Some symptoms include:

  • Difficult feeding habits
  • Seizures
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Inability to focus eyes
  • High-pitched crying
  • A bulge at the infant’s soft spot

When It Becomes More Common

There are some situations where your child may have an increased risk of this birth disorder. For example, drinking alcohol while pregnant could increase your child’s risk of developing this condition. In addition, pregnant women should exercise caution prior to taking medications because blood-thinning medications can increase the risk of bleeding. Before you take any medications, it is important to discuss them with your healthcare provider, so that he or she can determine if they are safe to take.

Different Types of Hemorrhages

Acute subdural hemorrhage can develop after sustaining a serious blow to the head. The blood accumulates rapidly within the brain, and this leads to a growing pressure that can be deadly. Another type, known as chronic subdural hemorrhage is a slow type of bleeding that occurs, and it could develop over a period of weeks or months. Typically,  chronic subdural hemorrhages occur more in elderly people than infants. Many times, the enticing trauma is so small and insignificant that the individual cannot recall sustaining a blow to the head, for example, lightly banging their head on a car door.

Treatment: How Is This Condition Treated?

When it comes to treatment, doctors don’t mess around with it. A subdural hematoma is an emergency because if left untreated it can become fatal or complications from the brain injury such as CP can occur. For severe cases, the most common form of treatment is emergency surgery to decrease pressure on the brain. Sometimes, a  craniotomy is recommended, in order to remove large blood clots and to resolve the hematoma. Typically medication is prescribed after the surgery. To lower swelling on the brain, medications such as diuretics and corticoids may be prescribed. The doctor might also prescribe phenytoin to help prevent seizures.

When it comes to the prognosis of subdural hematoma, the outlook depends on the extent of the injury and the location of the injury. In addition, infants that get treated immediately will have a better outlook than children who receive delayed care. A child that has had the blood drained will have the highest chance of a positive outcome. An acute subdural hematoma is a serious condition, as it can lead to paralysis or even death.

Editor

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Expert

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Article Citations

  1. Perinatal brain injury in premature infants born to mothers using alcohol in pregnancy. Neonatal Brain Hemorrhage Study Team, Pub Med
  2. Subdural Hematoma, Penn State Hershey