Falls from elevation are among the most common work-related accidents to occur in Washington, including Seattle. Whether you fall from elevation or the same level, you can strike your head on the ground or a nearby object. The force of the blow can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called an intracranial hematoma.
A hematoma is a collection or mass of blood, and an intracranial hematoma occurs when a blood vessel ruptures inside the skull, causing blood to leak out. Because the blood has no place to go, it collects in one area and puts pressure on the brain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three categories of intracranial hematoma depending on where they occur. An intraparenchymal hematoma occurs when blood pools within the tissues of the brain itself. Multiple severe intraparenchymal hematomas can occur at once from a single incidence of head trauma.
The dura mater is a membrane that covers your brain. A hematoma that occurs between the interior surface of the skull and the dura mater is an epidural hematoma. A subdural hematoma occurs between the dura mater and the brain itself. Both types can put pressure on the brain that may result in loss of consciousness and permanent brain damage.
The symptoms of intracranial hematoma may not be evident immediately after an accident involving head trauma. However, as the blood continues to collect, you may start noticing symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, headache, slurred speech and progressive loss of consciousness. One of the pupils may appear larger than the other. You may also experience seizures or lethargy. Intracranial hemorrhage usually requires emergency surgery to evacuate the blood and relieve the pressure.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.