Although not all hits to the temple produce serious complications, anyone hit in this region should receive prompt medical attention to monitor for signs of an epidural hematoma, explains Dr. Ben Kim. Even low-force trauma to the temple can result in this medical emergency.
The middle meningeal artery runs along the sides of the head near where the temples are located, notes Dr. Kim. In comparison to other regions of the skull, the bone protecting this artery is thin and fragile, making it more susceptible to fracturing from trauma. If the skull fractures following a hit to the temple, the broken bone can tear the middle meningeal artery, which causes blood to accumulate while the heart continues to pump more blood to the area. This is called an epidural hematoma and places excess pressure on the brain, leading to oxygen deprivation and brain cell death without proper medical care.
Men suffer four times as many epidural hematomas as women, according to UCLA Neurosurgery. A common sign someone has suffered an epidural hematoma is short-term loss of consciousness followed by alertness lasting up to several hours and then deterioration of brain functioning, possibly leading to a coma. Other common symptoms are vomiting, headaches and seizures.