HealthBrain haematomas: Symptoms to watch and the urgency of treatment

Brain haematomas: Symptoms to watch and the urgency of treatment

Symptoms of a brain haematoma resemble a stroke
Symptoms of a brain haematoma resemble a stroke
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22 June 2024 10:33

A brain haematoma is a severe threat to human health and life because its symptoms can be difficult to recognise and often require immediate medical intervention. However, certain symptoms should raise our alertness—they may be visible in the eyes but also appear on the hands.

Although the development of a brain haematoma is most often the result of a head injury, there are many other potential causes. Factors that increase the risk of its occurrence include vein and sinus clots, bleeding disorders such as leukaemia or aplastic anaemia, as well as liver diseases and the use of anticoagulants. The list of potential factors influencing its appearance is truly long.

Haematomas can also result from haemorrhagic stroke, high blood pressure, aneurysms, arterial inflammations, and endocarditis. They also appear in patients suffering from melanoma or advanced stages of lung and thyroid cancer. Chronic headaches can also be a clue. Haematomas can occur in people struggling with migraines.

A brain haematoma presents a wide range of symptoms

The most common and most characteristic symptoms of an intracranial haematoma are intense, recurrent headaches. They are usually accompanied by vomiting, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Other symptoms include nausea, facial nerve paralysis, limb weakness, and pupil asymmetry. Uncontrolled drowsiness also often occurs. Many of these symptoms are common to other conditions, which means a brain haematoma can be mistaken, for example, with an ischaemic stroke.

A subdural haematoma, whose main symptom is a severe headache, can also cause weakness, impaired consciousness, seizures, dilation of one pupil, and lack of reaction to light. This type of haematoma also causes problems with walking and speech, as well as sleep disturbances. In some cases, there may also be a temporary or prolonged loss of consciousness. Its presence can lead to the rupture of veins in the brain, making it exceptionally dangerous.

An epidural haematoma, which appears after a severe head injury, can cause unilateral weakness opposite to its location. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, bradycardia, nausea, dilation of the pupil on the side of the haematoma, as well as seizures and vomiting. A characteristic symptom is also the lack of pupil reaction to light.

If we notice the indicated symptoms, the reaction should be immediate. Only prompt help from appropriate services and hospitalisation can prevent further health repercussions, often very serious.

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