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Subdural Hematoma


A subdural hematoma is a condition that develops when blood collects under the dura (protective covering of the brain). As the blood collects between the dura and the brain, the brain compresses. The compression can lead to serious medical problems including seizure, coma, and death.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have a seizure.
  • Your speech is slurred.
  • You have new arm or leg weakness, numbness, or problems with balance and movement.
  • You cannot speak, or you faint.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You are more sleepy or are harder to wake up than usual.
  • You have problems thinking.
  • You have blurred or double vision.
  • Your behavior or personality has changed.
  • You have repeated or forceful vomiting or you cannot keep liquids down.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • Your symptoms are getting worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Anticonvulsants may be given to prevent and control seizures.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Some of these can increase your risk for bleeding. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or neurosurgeon within 2 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent head injuries:

  • Always wear a seatbelt when you are driving or riding in a car.
  • You may feel safer if you use an assistive device, such as a 4 prong (pointed) cane or a walker when walking. To keep from falling, remove loose carpeting from the floor. Using chairs with side arms and hard cushions will make it easier to get up or out of a chair. Put grab bars on the walls beside toilets and inside showers and bathtubs. These will help you get up after using the toilet or after bathing. Grab bars will also help to keep you from falling in the shower. You may want to put a shower chair inside the shower.
  • Avoid activities that are likely to cause falls.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.