A subdural hematoma occurs in the subdural space between the dura mater and the arachnoid due to the tearing of the small veins connecting the dura mater and the arachnoid. Subdural hematomas are more common than epidural hematomas but similarly can be life threatening and can require surgical evacuation. Depending on the severity of the condition, subdural hematoma brain bleeds carry a mortality rate of 50-90%.
If discovered within three (3) days following an injury, these bleeds are considered an acute subdural hematoma (ASDH). If discovered after three (3) days and up to fourteen (14) days following an injury, it is considered a subacute subdural hematoma (SASDH). A chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is a brain bleed that is discovered more than two (2) weeks following an injury.
In April 2009, San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Joe Martinez was hit in the head by a line drive in a game. He suffered a skull fracture and a subdural hematoma.