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Intracranial Bleeding: A Common, Serious Car Accident Injury

People who have driven a car have undoubtedly experienced that both bad drivers and bad luck can cause car accidents. Unfortunately, even the smallest of car accidents can result in serious medical injuries. These injuries can be expensive and place families under a significant amount of financial stress.

With this in mind, people need to understand the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of some of the common injuries related to car accidents. One of these common medical issues is intracranial bleeding. This is a potentially life-threatening issue that everyone should know about. 

How does intracranial bleeding develop?

For those who do not know, intracranial bleeding is the term used to describe bleeding that occurs inside the skull along or inside of the brain. This can develop during car accidents in a number of ways. When a car comes to a sudden stop or suddenly moves when impacted by another vehicle, the head is free to snap around because it is not strapped in by a seatbelt. If the head strikes the steering wheel, dashboard, or window, the brain moves inside of the skull and can potentially strike the bony surface of the skull. This is a hard surface that can cause bleeding to develop in the brain.

What are the symptoms of intracranial bleeding?

The symptoms will vary depending on the type of bleeding that develops. Everyone with intracranial bleeding will have some sort of visible mark indicating that they experienced trauma to their head. Sometimes, people will lose consciousness. Other times, the patient may remain lucid. Sometimes, the patient could have memory loss, trouble seeing, or trouble hearing. Because the symptoms vary widely from person to person, it is vital that anyone who suffers a head injury during a car accident seeks medical attention immediately. It could be the difference between life and death.

How is an intracranial bleed diagnosed?

If there is any suspicion of an intracranial bleed based on the story or the symptoms, the physician is going to order a CT scan. This is a scan that is relatively quick and is useful when time is an issue. A CT scan can easily see blood in the brain and is going to find it if it is there. While the suspicion for an intracranial bleed develops based on the story and the symptoms, the CT scan is used to diagnose and localize the bleed.

How is an intracranial bleed treated?

The treatment for an intracranial bleed will vary depending on the severity of the bleed. If the bleed is very small, no treatment might be necessary. For bleeds that are larger and life-threatening, a neurosurgeon might be required to go in and relieve the pressure that is building up behind the bleeding. The neurosurgeon may also be required to stop the bleeding if it continues. The prognosis for someone suffering from intracranial bleeding will vary based on the severity of the injury.

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