When someone is injured we usually look for the traditional signs of trauma to check the severity of the problem. We look for signs of a cut, a scrape, or a bruise before we move around again. For the most part, this is sensible way to determine if we need medical treatment. It may come as a surprise to learn that this is not always the best way to make such a judgment call. Much of our health concerns lie beneath the skin and are harder to detect. This is particularly true when someone bumps their head. Recently, a report was released in the Journal of Neurosurgery by a research team from New York University Langone Medical Center. The report discusses the concerns that the medical community holds with regards to older patients and the likelihood of developing a subdural hematoma.
What is a subdural hematoma?
A person may develop a subdural hematoma (SDH) for any number of reasons. The most common cause of an SDH is from indirect trauma that jostles the brain. In many instances, doctors say, the “trauma” is so mundane that a patient cannot even recall when or how it happened. For example, a bump to the head while getting in or out of a car could be the culprit. Direct head trauma from a fall or other sort of accident is also to blame in some cases. Age, alcohol abuse, or blood thinners may also increase the likelihood of developing an SDH. The problem with these bumps to the head is the resulting hematoma which is a buildup of blood in between the covering around your brain (the dura) and the brain itself. Over time a condition known as chronic SDH may develop. The chronic condition exists where older blood remains in between the dura and the brain for several weeks after the first breakthrough. Surgical intervention is generally necessary to combat the neurological effects of a hematoma.
SDH and an Aging Population
Age is certain to affect just about every aspect of a person’s health. From eyesight to memory, and yes, development of chronic SDH. It is expected that by the year 2030 at least one fifth of the American population will have aged past 65 years old. It is further anticipated that by that time SDH will afflict 60,000 Americans per year. This will make chronic SDH the most common cause of brain surgery. Since 1967 the condition has steadily risen. Throughout that time one third of the diagnoses of chronic SDH have occurred with patients who are over 80 years old. Although heavy drinking, obesity, and anticoagulant medication are considered predisposing factors, the number one factor is old age. The reason for this is aging veins near one’s brain become increasingly susceptible to tearing which in turn allows blood to leak.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
When you are injured due to someone else’s carelessness you will likely be very frustrated. You will probably think about the bills you will need to pay, the time you may miss away from work while resting, or the damage to your property. At Napoli Law we believe that your number one priority should be to regain your health. If you have hit your head, even in a minor accident, it is important that you seek medical attention and try to recover. Contact our team today and let us drive you along the road to recovery.