Blood Clots and Subdural Hematomas

Blood Clots

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently been diagnosed with a blood clot in her head after a fall. (Image Link: CNN)

“Secretary Clinton’s doctors released a statement…, and it said that she had a clot in the vein that is situated in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. Now, the technical name for this is a right transverse sinus venous thrombosis. And what it means is there’s a clot in the vein that drains blood from the head. And this is likely a result of this fall that she had where she bumped her head and had a concussion, and possibly there was a small bleed at that time, which led to this clot.”

This does speak to one of the dangers that I was referring to in a previous post about falls and how to improve balance.

Her fall seems to have been more a result of having the flu as opposed to a lack of balance.  That is why I wish to discuss the need to be vigilant after a fall.

Subdural Hematomas:

Subdural hematomas can be sneaky.  A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain.  An acute hematoma presents very quickly after an injury.  The symptoms appear quickly and they can be deadly.  Chronic subdural hematomas are the sneaky ones.  These generally involve a slow bleed from veins between the brain and the skull.  As we age, our brain shrinks and stretches out these veins.  The shrinking also leaves more room for the brain to move around during a fall or car accident or any trauma.  So, the older someone is (especially over 60), the more vigilant they need to be about these slow bleeds.

You fall.  You get up.  You make sure no one saw the graceful move.  You feel a little bruised but fine.  What now?

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