Traumatic Hematomas

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About Traumatic Hematomas

General Information

  • Approximately 30 percent to 40 percent of moderate and severe head injury patients (Glasgow Coma Scale 3 to 12) will develop an intracranial hematoma, or a blood clot at the surface or inside the brain, requiring emergency surgery.
  • These blood clots are named by the space inside the skull where they occur. They include epidural hematomas (above the tissue covering the brain), acute and chronic subdural hematomas (just beneath the surface tissue), and intracerebral hematomas (inside the brain).


  • Symptoms may include headache, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, memory loss, confusion, weakness, nausea, vomiting, visual changes and seizures.

Diagnosis and treatment

  • There are no characteristic brain function findings that reliably distinguish among epidural, subdural or intracerebral hematomas.
  • A computed tomography (CT) brain scan can identify the site of intracranial trauma and determine whether urgent surgical intervention is required.


The Neuro-ICU cares for patients with all types of neurosurgical and neurological injuries, including stroke, brain hemorrhage, trauma and tumors. We work in close cooperation with your surgeon or medical doctor with whom you have had initial contact. Together with the surgeon or medical doctor, the Neuro-ICU attending physician and team members direct your family member's care while in the ICU. The Neuro-ICU team consists of the bedside nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians in specialty training (Fellows) and attending physicians. UCLA Neuro ICU Family Guide