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Epidural Hemorrhage Brain Injuries

Epidural hemorrhage is a brain injury that happens when blood is trapped between the skull and the hard layer of skin between the bone and brain, which is known as the dura matter.  The fluid builds up as more blood seeps out of a cut artery until the brain begins to swell.  At this point, the victim develops the classic symptoms of a traumatic brain injury and will rapidly decline unless treated immediately.  This is what happened to actress Natasha Richardson, who was hurt in a ski accident on a Monday and was dead by Wednesday.

Epidural hemorrhage can be caused by any kind of head trauma, such as would be common after a car accident, slip and fall accident, motorcycle accident, or any other accident.  Epidural hemorrhage is known as "talk and die" syndrome among clinicians because of the rapid decline in the patient's condition.  Patients usually feel fine immediately after their accidents and then experience a rapid onset of nausea, severe head pain, glossy eyes, and sudden sleepiness.

Immediate treatment is almost always necessary to prevent permanent brain damage.  The hospital staff can perform a CAT scan.  If the CAT scan reveals sub-dural bleeding, an emergency craniotomy, which is an opening of the skull, usually will need to be performed to relieve pressure on the brain.

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