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People in Wisconsin may be surprised to learn that they can develop a condition known as a subdural hematoma where blood accumulates on the surface of the brain from a relatively minor bump on the head. Sometimes, the bump is so minor that people do not remember it happening. In fact, most people never realize that they have a subdural hematoma because the brain heals itself. However, in some people, that is not the case.

Elderly people are more vulnerable to subdural hematomas because brains tend to shrink with age. As they pull away from the dura mater, or the protective membrane, the veins are more vulnerable and more likely to bleed. In one case, a man hit his head while putting a sprinkler under his porch. He forgot it even happened until he required emergency brain surgery weeks later following headaches and trouble driving.

In another case, a top doctor failed to diagnose his own subdural hematoma. He hurt his back working in his attic one day and forgot about the bump to the head that accompanied it. Over time, he noticed he was having trouble walking and thinking. A neurologist did an MRI and found blood pooling on his brain. Researchers say that while most bumps do not cause problems, people should watch out for ongoing headaches, difficulty in thinking and weakness in the extremities.

A person who sustains a subdural hematoma or another type of brain injury may have a long period of recovery and rehabilitation. This can be expensive as medical costs mount and the person is unable to work. In some cases, family members may lose time at work as well as they step in as caregivers. If the injury is the result of someone’s negligence, the injured person or their family might want to consider asking a lawyer for help with filing a lawsuit against the responsible party to help cover these expenses.