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A Fractured Skull May Cause Intracranial Bleeding

Home » A Fractured Skull May Cause Intracranial Bleeding
July 30, 2019
Edward Smith

Intracranial Bleeding from a Fractured Skull

The skull is responsible for several crucial functions such as providing structure to the face and protecting the brain. A blunt or penetrating impact to the head can lead to a fractured skull, which is a severe injury. Depending on the type of skull fracture, there are a number of serious complications that might develop. Among these are traumatic brain injuries, which may include intracranial bleeding. If someone develops intracranial bleeding following a skull fracture, this can lead to serious consequences and long-term damage. In some cases, bleeding within the skull cavity might even end up being fatal.

Types of Intracranial Bleeding: Hematoma Formation

There are multiple ways that bleeding may develop following a skull fracture. In some cases, a penetrating injury of the skull can slice right through the skull, leading to direct damage to the tissue underneath. In other situations, a blunt impact to the skull can lead to a depressed skull fracture. The fragments of the skull may slice through important blood vessels within the brain, leading to severe bleeding.

If bleeding develops within the skull cavity, this may lead to the development of something called a hematoma. A hematoma is a pocket of blood within the skull which can have serious consequences. Some of the most common types of intracranial bleeding include:

  • Epidural Hematoma: An epidural hematoma results from a blunt blow to the side of the head. This blow can lead to a fractured skull, which may tear the middle meningeal artery. This is often diagnosed using a CT scan. An epidural hematoma is a medical and surgical emergency because, if not treated quickly, it may be fatal. In some cases, individuals with an epidural hematoma may lose consciousness and then regain consciousness on their own before going unconscious again, this time permanently. This is termed a “lucid interval.” If treated quickly, a full recovery is possible.
  • Subdural Hematoma: A subdural hematoma results from a rupture of the bridging veins within the skull cavity. This type of hematoma requires a tremendous amount of force, often resulting in multiple skull fractures. Also diagnosed on a CT scan, a subdural hematoma also usually requires surgical correction. With proper treatment, many people will make a full recovery.

Watch YouTube Video: Intracranial Hemorrhage. The following video provides an overview of the three types of hematoma: epidural, subdural and subarachnoid.

Consequences of Intracranial Bleeding

If someone has been diagnosed with intracranial bleeding, there are a handful of consequences and complications that might arise. These include:

  • Stroke: One of the major problems that might develop is a stroke. A stroke develops when the brain is deprived of its blood flow. In this case, because the brain’s blood vessels have been torn, parts of the brain are not receiving blood, oxygen, and nutrients. This results in a stroke.
  • Swelling: In response to trauma, the brain will also start to swell. This swelling is a serious problem because it may result in an increase in intracranial pressure. With this increased pressure, there is a risk of cerebral herniation. This herniation is often fatal and needs to be prevented at all costs.

To prevent these complications from developing, several treatment options are available.

What are the Treatment Options?

If someone has been diagnosed with a fractured skull on an x-ray, it will be important to determine whether or not there is intracranial bleeding. If bleeding is present, several treatment options can be employed, including:

  • Surgery: Surgery is sometimes needed to stop the bleeding. A trained neurosurgeon will open up the skull and cauterize any vessels that are still bleeding. The doctor will also evacuate the pocket of blood if one is present. Finally, during this surgical procedure, any skull fragments will be placed back in their proper location.
  • Medications: Medications will also be used to control the pressure inside the skull. This is important for preventing cerebral herniation. Other drugs may also be required to prevent infections from developing.

Over time, individuals will recover from intracranial bleeding, and their skull fractures will heal. Some people might require specialized therapy to try and regain some of their lost neurological functions. While these injuries are always serious, many people will make a full recovery.

Sacramento Fractured Skull Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Fractured Skull Lawyer. If someone has been diagnosed with a fractured skull, he or she might develop intracranial bleeding. If someone you know has suffered a fractured skull and subsequently developed intracranial bleeding, please call me at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 to receive free, friendly legal guidance and advice.

I’m honored to be a part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum & of the Top One Percent, a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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Image Citation: The image used on this article was discovered first on Pixabay and has been reproduced here with the permission of the Creative Commons License

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