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My dad slipped on the Madison ice outside his office. He didn’t black out, and he said he felt fine, but his doctor insisted that he stay in the hospital overnight to avoid “talk and die syndrome.” What did he mean?

Your father’s doctor was referring to a situation in which someone is talking and seems fine after a blow to the head but rapidly begins to deteriorate. What usually is responsible is called an epidural hematoma. Immediately after the injury, blood begins to leak inside the head, forming a pressurized sac of fluid between the cover of the brain, or dura, and the skull. The pressure compresses the brain tissue and causes it to swell. If untreated, the person will lose consciousness, fall into a coma, and possibly die.

Most epidural hematomas result from a blow to the temporal bone, which is a relatively weak section of the skull right above the ear. This area and the back of the skull are the most likely places on the head to be bumped in a fall on ice or snow in Wisconsin. Relieving the pressure on the brain is imperative, and this is usually done by performing a partial craniotomy, in which a piece of the skull is removed.

An epidural hematoma is best detected with a CT scan.

If you have experienced a head injury in a Wisconsin slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. Seek help from the experienced Madison slip-and-fall attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. Call us locally at 608-277-7777 or toll free at 888-277-4879, or fill out our online form for a FREE consultation.