tribute to the
Southern General Hospital (Glasgow)
In late February 2009, I was suffering severe headaches - my GP said it was a virus. My son took me to the Monklands A&E where a young lady doctor gave me a full checkup including a CT scan. She quickly made some arrangements and I was rushed to Ward 64 of the Southern General in Glasgow.
I had to have emergency surgery for an Acute on Chronic Sub Dural Haematoma - 2 blood clots on the brain.
I cannot emphasise how grateful I am to the Monklands A&E, the Neurological team of Mr Philip Barlow and all the nursing staff at the Southern General - they saved my life.
A special mention for Mark Whyte.
Well done Monklands and Southern General- if you are representative of the NHS there is not much wrong with it.
(Because I was on Warfarin it was construed that the bleeding was not caused by a bump but most likely was spontaneous.)
Look out for Symptoms of Subdural Hematoma
(The symptoms are similar to an epidural haematoma or extradural haematoma which caused the death of Natasha Richardson in a tragic skiing accident in Canada.) see article by David Mendelow
Subdural hematoma is a kind of head injury in which bleeding occurs into the space between the dura (i.e., the outer covering of the brain) and the brain itself. The bleeding in the subdural space can put undue pressure on the delicate brain tissues and can cause several neurological disorders. Subdural hematoma is considered a serious medical condition and needs emergency medical care.
Most often subdural hematoma is a result of some serious injury to the head. Injuries to the head may stretch the brain tissues and can cause the blood vessels to burst, resulting in bleeding. Sometimes, however, it can also be caused by a medical condition known as cerebral aneurysm, which causes spontaneous bursting of blood vessels. The brain is capable of withstanding minor movement, but it may not absorb a sudden blow. In such a case, the brain hits against the inner wall of the skull and is itself damaged. Subdural hematoma is more like to happen to an elderly or alcoholic person. Also, someone on anticoagulant medicines such as Warfarin is more likely to suffer a subdural hematoma.
The common symptoms of subdural hematoma may or may not be visible immediately after a head injury. It can remain dormant up to 2-4 weeks before showing any symptoms.
Common symptoms are –
weakness or lethargy
slurring of speech
sense of disorientation.
Patients with subdural hematoma should be immediately treated
by a doctor. Besides a through neurological check-up, a CT scan
or MRI scan should be performed to detect a subdural hematoma.
Treatment is determined by the size and the extent of hematoma.
Small subdural hematomas may be treated with medication under
proper medical observation. In bigger hematomas, however,
surgical procedure is the only option. There are two types of
surgical treatment available – perforation and craniotomy.
In perforation technique, a small hole is made into the skull and the blood is sucked out. In craniotomy, which is done for treating large hematomas, a portion of the skull is cut open and the blood is drained out. Proper post-operative care and observation is required for a long period of time because the recovery is often prolonged.
It is important that certain safety measures are taken to avoid head injuries.
For all outdoor activities and sports, the safety measures should always be followed. Wear proper protective gear when you take part in any such activities.
This means if cycling or motor cycling -
WEAR a Crash Helmet!!
Motorcycle riders should always wear a crash helmet, it’s a
legal requirement and can prevent or reduce serious head or neck
While sitting in a vehicle, buckle up your seat belt properly.
And always get yourself examined by a doctor if you have had an injury to the head, even if it shows no adverse effect immediately.
Headway is here to help
See also Brain & Spine Foundation
Headway is a charity set up to give help and support to people affected by brain injury. It does this in a number of ways:
A network of local Groups and Branches throughout the UK offers a wide range of services, including rehabilitation programmes, carer support, social re-integration, community outreach and respite care. The services available will vary, depending on local needs and resources.
Headway UK provides support to the local Groups and Branches and helps to deliver high quality services through guidance on policies, procedures, standards and training. Additionally:
- The Headway UK Helpline provides information, advises on sources of support, finds local rehabilitation services and offers a listening ear to those experiencing problems.
- We publish a range of booklets containing information about aspects of brain injury that will be helpful to those directly affected, plus professionals, employers and members of the public
- We promote understanding of brain injury and its effects
- We lobby for better support and resources to be made available by statutory health and social care providers.
- We campaign for measures that will reduce the number of brain injuries
Scotland Development Manager
0131 537 9481
0131 537 9481
Highland Regional Coordinator
01744 452 452/ 07833365858
Headway MotherwellContact: Sandra McGinty
Telephone No: 01698 350399
A quick guide to the
Brain and Spine Foundation
Who can we help?
- People affected by brain and spine conditions
- Medical and educational professionals dealing with the effects of brain and spine conditions
Where do we work?
- Across the United Kingdom.
What do we do?
- Provide information and support for adults and children affected by neurological conditions
- Develop training and tools for medical and educational professionals
How do we help?
- Helpline - specialist neuroscience nurses available 24 hours a week
- Booklets and Factsheets - available on a wide range of neurological symptoms, conditions and investigative techniques
- Training resources - developing materials to help professionals in both the medical and educational fields: see our
How are we funded?
- By individuals raising sponsorship through running events and by making donations.
- By general donations from charitable trusts and companies
- Through project grants from The Big Lottery and the Department of Health
Brain and Spine Helpline
Brain and Spine Foundation
7 Winchester House
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 0808 808 1000
(Information and support on neurological disorders for patients, carers and health professionals)
Brain and Spinal Injury Charity (BASIC)
554 Eccles New Road
Greater Manchester M5 2AL
Tel: 0870 750 0000
(Information, research and support groups)
DVLA Drivers Medical Group
Swansea SA99 1TU
Tel: 01792 783686
(Fitness to drive)
Tel: 0845 4647
(Medical advice and information on NHS services)