What is the role of blood tests in the workup of subdural hematoma (SDH)?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Richard J Meagher, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Initial blood tests include the following:

  • Complete blood count

  • Hemoglobin or hematocrit

  • Coagulation profile

  • Basic metabolic panel

  • Type and screen/cross-match

In addition, drug and alcohol screenings may be important for correlating the neurologic examination with the imaging studies.

Detection of electrolyte abnormalities is important because they can exacerbate brain injury and therefore require correction in a timely manner. For example, hyponatremia (5-12% estimated incidence in patients with head injury) can potentiate brain edema and cause seizures.


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