The goal is to control symptoms and minimize or prevent permanent damage to the brain.
- Anticonvulsant medications, such as phenytoin, may be used to control or prevent seizures.
- Corticosteroid medications may be used to reduce any swelling of the brain.
Surgery may be required. This may include drilling small holes in the skull to relieve pressure and allow blood and fluids to be drained. Large hematomas or solid blood clots may need to be removed through a larger opening in the skull (craniotomy).
Chronic subdural hematomas usually do not heal on their own over time. They often require surgery, especially when there are neurologic problems, seizures, or chronic headaches.
Some chronic subdural hematomas return after drainage, and a second surgery may be necessary.
- Permanent brain damage
- Persistent symptoms
- Difficulty paying attention
- Memory loss
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Because of the risk of permanent brain damage, call a health care provider promptly if you or someone else develops symptoms of chronic subdural hematoma.
Take the person to the emergency room or call 911 if the person:
- Has convulsions/seizures
- Isn’t responsive
- Loses consciousness
Chronic subdural hematoma : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Chronic subdural hematoma : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Chronic subdural hematoma : Treatment
Review Date : 9/25/2008
Reviewed By : Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.