Seventeen cases are reported in which fatal subarachnoid haemorrhage was associated with injury to the upper cervical region. Most of these cases were alcohol-intoxicated, most had sustained their injuries in an altercation, and death was usually but not invariably rapid. It is proposed that trauma to the upper cervical region can cause subarachnoid haemorrhage, by a mechanism involving tracking of blood into the subarachnoid space from a damaged vertebral artery or one of its branches.
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