Overview on subarachnoid hemorrhage

Subarachnoid hemorrhage is an uncommon form of stroke brought about by bleeding on the brain surface. This is considered as a serious condition that can be deadly.

What are the potential causes of subarachnoid hemorrhage?

In most cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage, a ruptured brain aneurysm is the cause. A brain aneurysm is a protrusion in a blood vessel that is brought about by a weakened blood vessel wall.

It is still vague what exactly causes the development of brain aneurysms in some individuals. Nevertheless, certain risk factors that were identified include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • High blood pressure

    Abrupt intense headache that feels as being struck on the head which results to blinding pain

Some of the uncommon causes include having irregularly developed blood vessels as well as inflammation of the brain blood vessels.

What are the indications?

Generally, there are no warning indications but it oftentimes arises during straining or physical effort such as lifting heavy objects, coughing, moving the bowels or sexual activity.

The main indications of subarachnoid hemorrhage include:

  • Abrupt intense headache – this strikingly resembles as being struck on the head which results to blinding pain
  • Feeling of being sick
  • Rigid or stiff neck
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Stroke-like symptoms such as weakness in one side of the body and slurred speech
  • Convulsions or loss of consciousness

As a medical emergency, call for immediate emergency assistance if any of these symptoms are present.

Management of subarachnoid hemorrhage

An individual suspected with subarachnoid hemorrhage should undergo a CT scan to check for any indications of bleeding around the brain.

When a diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage is confirmed or suspected, the individual should be referred to a specialist. In most cases, medications are given to prevent any brief complications and a procedure is carried out to fix the source of the bleeding.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on subarachnoid hemorrhage is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this medical emergency, register for a first aid and CPR course with Kelowna First Aid.