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Danger of subdural hematomas in the elderly

Louisiana residents need to be aware that even a simple bump or jostle to their heads may lead to brain injuries. These injuries, called subdural hematomas, are especially common in people who are elderly.

Researchers report that the elderly population is especially vulnerable to suffering subdural hematomas because the brain shrinks as people age, pulling away gradually from the dura that surrounds it. Many people do not realize they have suffered such an injury until after noticing symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, headaches and other problems. Because they can result from even a minor blow to the head, people may not recall even hitting their head in the first place.

In a study reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery, researchers studied diagnoses of subdural hematomas at 20 percent of the hospitals in the U.S. At these hospitals, nearly 44,000 people were diagnosed in a single year, leading researchers to estimate that more than 200,000 suffer from them annually. Researchers also believe a number of other people suffer subdural hematomas every year that are never diagnosed because the people don't realize they have suffered brain injuries. More are misdiagnosed, leaving the true number unknown.

Because of how vulnerable older people are to suffering a subdural hematoma, elderly people who are involved in car accidents and who hit their heads may want to request MRIs just to make certain they have not suffered from these brain injuries. In a case where the accident was caused by a negligent driver, an injured victim may want to consider filing a personal injury civil lawsuit against the responsible motorist seeking compensation for the losses that have been incurred. An attorney can of of assistance in preparing and filing the document.

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