General discussion

I know, I shouldn't let this stuff bother me, but I've seen

several programs of the CSI/Bones/NCIS ilk where the medical examiners examine the inside of the skull to see a discolouration and in every case the medical examiner identifies it as a sub-dural haematoma. There's a problem with this, once you get through the scalp, and remove the skull the brain is covered in a tough membrane called the dura mater. Some injuries can occur on the surface of the brain between the brain and the dura mater: that's a sub-dural haematoma. Because of the relatively impermeability of the dura mater it is much less likely to cause discolouration of the skull than an extra-dural haematoma, i.e. a bleed between the skull and the dura mater.

Now sub-dural haematomas are I guess more a part of popular culture than other head injuries or fatal problems (viz. Berry aneurysms). I'm not at all sure what the likelihood that an external injury, like a blow to the head is to cause an extra-dural vs. a sub-dural haematoma, but I am relatively sure that the discolouration on the inside of the skull is less likely after a sub-dural.


Discussion is locked
Reply to: I know, I shouldn't let this stuff bother me, but I've seen
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: I know, I shouldn't let this stuff bother me, but I've seen
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
you expected reality?

from TV? LOL

- Collapse -
Psssssssssst !!!!!

(that's not the point of the post)

- Collapse -
(NT) Whatever could you mean?
- Collapse -
Thanks, but no thanks

Would lead to certain deletion.

- Collapse -
Yeah, you're right, but if we don't expect something better

we'll just keep getting the same crap.


- Collapse -
RE: you expected reality?
- Collapse -
I don't see why something underneath can't

have an affect through a protective layer. Heck, my jeans touch only skin and my kneecap is under a layer of skin but the color of the denim facing the outside world is definitely shades lighter even though I don't crawl on my knees anymore. Happy

- Collapse -
I admit I don't know the permeability of the dura.

The analogy I think of it as a heavy duty plastic bag. I think it's pretty protective. Now sharp movement of the head causes injury to the brain called contra-coup (think bad whiplash), that will cause a sub dural. Some blows to the head will cause sub-durals, but they will also cause extra-dural haemorrhages. Oh well, this is probably just a demonstration that I don't know everything that I think I know.


- Collapse -
Just thinking that the local pressure could be

felt through to the inner scalp and, perhaps, leave evidence. We have coroners trained to figure this stuff out. I've a CD of a recent MRI of my lumbar spine and sat with the neurologist reviewing the images. As he pointed out the problem disks all I could do was say "hmm" as I really had no clue as to what was out of place among the black and gray areas.

- Collapse -
I enjoy Bones and NCiS

Blows to the head are quite common due to accidents, and I think where on the skull they occur can sometimes have an effect on their seriousness. The leakage can be either slow or rapid in growth. Thus I would not consider them as "a part of popular culture", They are everyday reality.

Perhaps the TV series can have an educational value.


CNET Forums