An intracerebral hematoma occurs when one or more blood vessels in the brain rupture, usually as a result of a head injury. It is a medical emergency which can be fatal and so all head injuries should be investigated.
Symptoms of an intracerebral hematoma
Symptoms include severe headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion and loss of consciousness. The patient may have loss of feeling or weakness in the limbs on one side or even a seizure.
An intracerebral hematoma usually results after a forceful impact to the head. This can be a sporting accident (such as a collision or being hit with a hard ball, stick or racket) or from a fall or road traffic accident etc.
Very rarely, an intracerebral hematoma may occur in the absence of a head injury. In these cases, blood disorders (such as hemophilia or anemia), chronic high blood pressure or drug overdoses may be the cause.
Treatment of an intracerebral hematoma
Seek medical attention immediately - call an ambulance. The ambulance staff will try to stabilise the patient and will rush the patient to hospital and on arrival at hospital, emergency surgery is required. This aims to stop the bleeding and relieve the pressure build-up in the skull.
After successful surgery, the patient will be kept under close observation in hospital for several weeks. Further tests will be done to check for brain damage and to ensure that all bleeding has stopped. Once released from hospital the patient will require regular check-ups and long-term medication.