A hemorrhagic stroke is triggered when blood vessels in or around the brain rupture causing bleeding or a haemorrhage. The delicate brain tissue becomes damaged due to the build up of blood pressing on the brain. Other key areas of the brain are damaged due to reduced blood supply. This type of stroke accounts for around 15% of all strokes.
There are 2 different types of hemorrhagic stroke:
- Subarachnoid haemorrhage: This occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the brain ruptures and bleeds into the space between the brain and skull. The most common cause is a ruptured aneurysm caused by high blood pressure. Other causes are: rupture of an AVM (arteriovenous malformation), bleeding from an injury due to a blow to the head, or venous or capillary problems.
- Intracerebral haemorrhage: This is bleeding into the tissue deep within the brain. High blood pressure is often the cause of this type of stroke. Injury and rupture due to problem vessels can also be the cause.
Limitations after a Hemorrhagic stroke
As with any stroke, the damaged sustained varies from person to person and depending on how soon it was detected. Everything can be affected from physical weakness to speech. The list below outlines some of the limitations you could expect see in someone who has had a stroke:
- Problems with speech, reading and writing
- Problems with vision - such as double vision, or partial blindness
- Memory and concentration difficulties
- Anxiety and depression
- Weakness or paralysis, usually on one side of the body, conditions such as foot drop
- Difficulty swallowing
- Extreme tiredness
- Difficulty in controlling your bladder and bowel movements (incontinence)
A well recommended and recognised way of identifying if someone is having a stroke is to use the F.A.S.T (face-arms-speech) test. The F.A.S.T technique has been, and still is being promoted through the media, The Department of Health are running a 3 year campaign to help promote the awareness of stroke.
Treatments for a Hemorrhagic stroke
With a hemorrhagic stroke, treatments can vary depending on the location of the burst blood vessels, and the time is taken to identify the stroke and get treatment. Other underlying medical problems can mean that different medication could be prescribed to what is written here.
One possible drug that could be given is prothrombin complex concentrate, this is given to people who are already taking an anticoagulant medicine such as Warfarin, and this along with a Vitamin K injection should help the blood in the burst vessels to clot. If the cause of the stroke is thought to be related to high blood pressure, medication will be prescribed to control this.
If you have had a subarachnoid haemorrhage, you may sometimes be given a medicine called nimodipine, which helps to keep the blood flowing to your brain. This drug will usually need to be taken for about three weeks after your stroke.
In some cases (usually an Intracerebral haemorrhage), surgery may be required to drain the blood from the brain, this surgery could help improve recovery. This surgical procedure is not suitable for everyone; any suitable persons will talk with their doctor and a surgeon and between them decide if the benefits outweigh the risks associated with the surgery. Surgery can also be of help in a Subarachnoid haemorrhage, caused by a aneurysm, the purpose is to seal off the aneurysm to stop anymore blood escaping and weakening the artery walls even more. Again, your doctor or surgeon will advise you if you are suitable for this type of surgery.
Want to know about Stroke Rehabilitation?
* The information on this page has been compiled from various sources. It does not cover all physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read on this page.