Anesthesia Pharmacology:  General Anesthesia Clinical Case Questions


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  • A 79 year-old man was changing a light bulb and his home when he fell from the chair on which he was standing.

  • He struck his head, but complained only a headache.

    • However, he became drowsy about an hour, and began to show muscular weakness on the left side.

    • He was brought to hospital and a CT scan revealed a right-sided subdural hematoma.

    • His Glasgow Coma Scale was reported to have a score of 10.

  • Measurement of intracranial pressure with the surface transducer yielded a value of about 20 mm Hg.

  • Since his condition did not improve, it was decided that surgical evacuation of the hematoma should be performed


  • case author: Hugh S. Mathewson, M.D., Professor Emeritus, School of Allied Health, Department of Nurse Anesthesia, University of Kansas Medical Center
    case editor: Michael Gordon, Ph.D.