What Is A 'Lucid Interval'?


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Louise Gorman answered
A lucid interval is where a patient recovers for a brief period after suffering a traumatic brain injury, only to rapidly deteriorate afterwards.

A patient may suffer a blow to the head and be briefly dazed or unconscious, and then they will recover for a number of minutes or hours. After this, the patient will begin to deteriorate as their skull fills up with blood causing pressure to the brain and therefore damaging the brain tissue.

A lucid interval may also lead to 'delayed cerebral oedema', which is a condition that is dangerous and in some cases fatal. Delayed cerebral oedema causes the brain to swell rapidly, and can occur after a lucid interval from a minor head trauma.

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