A lucid interval following head injury with later development of impaired consciousness is suggestive of intracranial hematoma. A patient with such a history might require bilateral carotid arteriography or multiple trephinations of the skull for definitive diagnosis and therapy.
Intracranial hematoma might be simulated by other complications of head injury, such as cerebral fat embolism, cerebral edema, or postconvulsive stupor. This report illustrates still another situation, electrolyte disturbances, which might produce coma after a lucid interval and thus suggest the development of an intracranial complication.
Report of Case
A 17-year-old girl, injured in an automobile accident, was admitted to another hospital at 10 p. m., May 17, 1956. The patient had been sitting next to the driver when the car was struck by another; the impact caused unconsciousness and threw the patient out of the car.When seen in consultation by one of us (H. H. G.) three hours later,
FAGIN D, MEHAN DJ, GASS HH. Hyponatremia and Hypochloremia as a Complication of Head Injury: Report of a Case Simulating Intracranial Hematoma. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(5):562–566. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340110032004
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.