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Article
November 15, 1958

SUBDURAL HEMATOMA IN THE ELDERLY PERSON

Author Affiliations

Denver

From the Division of Neurosurgery, University of Colorado Medical Center.

JAMA. 1958;168(11):1445-1449. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000110019006
Abstract

The course of subdural hematoma was studied by reviewing the hospital records of 75 patients, 65 years of age or older, in whom the condition was demonstrated either at operation or at autopsy. The symptoms were such that the condition might easily have been mistaken for senile degeneration of the brain, cerebral vascular disease, or other conditions. Of the 30 patients who underwent operation, 17 survived and improved, while the typical course observed in 45 patients who did not undergo operation was a quiet, gradual decline, frequently terminated by sudden and unexpected death. The importance of early diagnosis and prompt operation was demonstrated. Although subdural hematoma in the elderly patient is a subtle disease, frequently disguised, it may be possible to increase the accuracy of diagnosis by keeping this condition in mind, diligently utilizing such diagnostic means as angiography, and resorting more readily to surgical exploration.

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