What happens when a brain bleeds? Find out more from Brainline.org
Story Date: 3/28/2017

Ask the Expert: What Happens When a Brain Bleeds?
QUESTION - I've been hearing about bleeding in the brain after a TBI. Can you explain how this happens and why it's so dangerous? What exactly is a subduralhematoma?
ANSWER - Let's start with the basics. A hematoma is a tumor-like collection of blood, usually clotted, located outside a blood vessel. The subdural space is located between the dura mater (the outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord) and the arachnoid membrane (the middle of these three membranes). The epidural space is located on or outside the dura mater. 
 
 Now, to answer your question, a subdural hematoma is basically bleeding into the space between the brain cover (dura mater) and the brain itself. More specifically, there are blood vessels running through the brain and in the spaces between the outside of the brain and the inside of the skull. During a brain injury, any of these vessels can tear and bleed. Ruptured vessels running in the subdural space — typically veins — cause subduralhematomas. Ruptured vessels running through the epidural space — typically arteries — cause epidural hematomas. Both types of bleeding take up space in the skull and in so doing squeeze down on the brain. Because arteries are under pressure, epidural hematomas leak quickly and compress the brain rapidly while subdural hematomas leak much more slowly.
To read the full article click here to go to the BrainLine.org website.



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