Signs and symptoms of an intracranial hematoma may be evident right after a blow to your head, or they may take several weeks or longer to appear. You may seem fine after a head injury, a period called the lucid interval. However, with time, pressure on your brain increases, producing some or all of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Increasing headache
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness and progressive loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Unequal pupil size
  • Slurred speech
  • Increased blood pressure

As more blood fills your brain or the narrow space between your brain and skull, other signs and symptoms may become apparent, such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

When to see a doctor

An intracranial hematoma can be life-threatening. Emergency medical treatment often is necessary.

Seek immediate medical attention after a blow to the head if:

  • You lose consciousness
  • You have any of the signs and symptoms that could indicate an intracranial hematoma

Signs and symptoms of intracranial hematoma may not be immediately apparent, so watch for subsequent physical, mental and emotional changes. For example, if someone seems fine after a blow to the head and can talk but then becomes unconscious, seek immediate medical care.

Also, even if you feel fine, ask someone to keep an eye on you. You may have memory loss after a blow to your head, so you may forget about it eventually. Someone you tell may be more likely to recognize the warning signs and get you prompt medical attention.

June 25, 2014