Twenty cases of fatal subarachnoid haemorrhage after minor injuries are presented. Thirteen of the cases occurred during scuffles, four in traffic accidents and in the remaining three cases the traumatic source was not definitely elucidated. In the majority of cases the deceased was under the influence of alcohol when the haemorrhage occurred. In 10 cases (50%) the haemorrhage was due to a rupture of a normal vertebral artery and in eight cases (40%) a fracture of the transverse process of the atlas was demonstrated. It is underlined that especially injuries to the side of the upper cervical spine are particularly apt to cause these haemorrhages. © 1984.
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