When the effects of banging one's head are still felt hours later, something more serious than a bruise may be at play. Approximately two percent of all head injuries cause epidural hematomas or EDH, when blood clots develop in the space between the brain and the skull. While this complication is uncommon, it can become life-threatening if ignored and undiagnosed.


1. Collision or Fall

Statistics show that more than 1.7 million people in the U.S. have a brain injury from motor vehicle crashes each year. Data suggests epidural hematomas are a fairly high percentage of these injuries, as well as those stemming from home accidents such as falls. People who were in vehicle crashes are more likely to develop acute injuries with higher mortality rates. Falls can cause bleeds that develop more slowly and may take longer to cause symptoms and diagnose.

Epidural hematoma brain injury Fertnig / Getty Images

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