Extradural haemorrhage occurs when the blood vessels in the dura – the outer shell of the brain – rupture, and the blood leaks on the surface of the brain. The disorder is usually a result of a head injury that causes some blood vessels to burst on the outer surface of the dura. Since these vessels are large, a significant amount of blood leaks out of them, so the symptoms of extradural bleeding usually occur within 24 hours after the impact, i.e. injury. Although the initial injury may seem trivial, the symptoms are severe: sudden strong headaches, nausea often ending with vomiting, and increased drowsiness which can lead to loss of consciousness.
In Britain’s hospital traumatology departments, nearly one million cases of head injuries are treated, although only 10% of cases require hospitalization, and only 1 to 2% of cases of complications include extradural bleeding. But this is a serious complication since potentially dangerous pressure on the brain is constantly increasing as more blood affects the narrow space between the brain and the skull.
What to do?
If you notice any symptoms of extradural bleeding on yourself or any other person in your presence, seek medical help as soon as possible, especially if your head has suffered a blow in the past 24 hours. If not treatment immediately, there is a risk of permanent brain damage, even death. You will be recieved in hospital immediately for diagnostic tests – X-ray of the skull and computerized axial tomography – and for general injury treatment. If the tests shows that your have extradural haemorrhage, a surgical procedure will be required to stop the bleeding. During surgery, part of the skull bone is removed, as well as leaked blood, so the surgeon can restore broken blood vessels. If the operation is performed immediately, the patient will probably fully recover.