What is a hemorrhagic stroke?
A hemorrhagic stroke is when bleeding unexpectedly and abruptly interferes with the brain’s ability to function. This bleeding can occur within the brain or between the brain and the skull.
Surviving a hemorrhagic stroke depends on the severity of the stroke and how fast the person is able to get treatment. Unfortunately, the majority of people who have a stroke die within a couple of days. About a quarter of survivors are able to live longer than five years, but the recovery process is long and slow.
On the other hand, a minority of people who are able to recover can return to complete or near-complete functioning within 30 days of the stroke.
Symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke
A hemorrhagic stroke that occurs inside your brain is also called an intracerebral hemorrhage. Symptoms of this stroke can vary from person to person. They are almost always present directly after the stroke occurs. The most common immediate symptoms are the person’s face drooping to one side or going numb, an inability to move one or both of their arms, and slurred or unintelligible speech.
Other symptoms may include:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Loss of balance
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems swallowing
- Sudden and severe headache
A stroke is a medical emergency. Call an ambulance or have someone drive you to the hospital if you think you’re having a stroke.
Types of hemorrhagic stroke
Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 20% of all strokes and are divided into these two categories:
Other types of stroke that don’t initially begin with hemorrhage, like thrombotic and embolic strokes, can lead to intracerebral hemorrhage. A thrombotic stroke is when an artery in the brain is blocked by a blood clot. Embolic strokes are often related to endocarditis, a heart valve infection (endocarditis). In an embolic stroke, an infected clump of bacteria floats from the heart through a process called a pulmonary embolism. It can then travel up to the brain, where it can spread the infection through the artery.
This type of hemorrhage causes blood to gather at the surface of the brain. When a vessel breaks, blood fills a portion of the space between the brain and the skull. As the blood flows into the cerebral spinal fluid, it puts pressure on the brain. This produces an immediate headache. After a few days, the clotted blood around the brain can cause brain arteries to spasm. These artery spasms can damage brain tissue.
Latest Heart News
Daily Health News
Causes of hemorrhagic stroke
There are two ways a blood vessel can rupture in the brain. The most common cause is an aneurysm. An aneurysm is an abnormal swelling of the blood vessel walls, often caused by high blood pressure or hypertension. The aneurysm will inflate like a balloon and pop.
In rare cases, intracerebral hemorrhage may happen due to the abnormally large and weak blood vessels that a person is born with. This is known as arteriovenous malformation (AVM). AVM are larger than capillaries. They allow blood to flow in at a relatively high pressure, which can eventually cause the AVM to stretch or leak.
Diagnosis for hemorrhagic stroke
In order for your doctor to diagnose a hemorrhagic stroke, they will want to know your medical history. They will also need to identify which potential risk factors in your life could potentially cause a stroke. Your doctor will take your blood pressure and perform a physical exam. They will likely call for a neurological exam using a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and a heart exam.
If these tests show that you are having a stroke, you will undergo further tests in order to distinguish the exact cause. Those tests may include:
Treatments for hemorrhagic stroke
Emergency care treatment
If you are experiencing any hemorrhagic symptoms, seek immediate emergency care. It is crucial to get treated as soon as possible. Rapid treatment can significantly affect the outcome of surviving a stroke.
Medicines can be used to help reduce hypertension and slow the bleeding. If you experience a hemorrhagic stroke while on blood thinners, you’re at particular risk for excessive bleeding. You will likely be given drugs to counteract the effect of the blood thinners while receiving emergency treatment.
Once a hemorrhagic stroke is under control, additional medical measures can be taken if needed. If the rupture is small and there’s only limited bleeding and pressure, supportive care may be the only other form of care you need. These include intravenous (IV) fluids and getting rest. If the stroke is more serious or the bleeding doesn’t stop, additional surgery may be needed. Surgery may also be required to relieve the pressure caused by the brain swelling.
Recovery after a hemorrhagic stroke will depend on the severity of the stroke, the amount of tissue damage, and how soon you are able to get treatment. For those who do survive, the recovery period is long, usually lasting for months or even years. If the stroke is small and there are no major complications during a hospital stay, however, most people are able to resume a normally functioning life within a couple of weeks.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Stroke Association: “Stroke Treatment.”
American Stroke Association: “Why Getting Quick Stroke Treatment Is Important.”
Harvard Health Publishing: “Hemorrhagic Stroke.”
Medical archives (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina): “Risk factors impact on the long-term survival after hemorrhagic stroke.”
Top Can a Person Survive a Hemorrhagic Stroke Related Articles
Aspirin vs. Plavix (clopidogrel)Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and Plavix (clopidogreal) is an antiplatelet drug. Both aspirin and Plavix are used to prevent blood clots, which reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and future strokes and heart attacks in people who have already had one. Aspirin and Plavix can be taken at the same time, but it increases the risk of GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding.
Can Drinking Water Help Prevent a Stroke?Many studies have proven that proper hydration at the time of a stroke is linked to better stroke recovery. It is possible that dehydration causes blood to be thicker. Viscous blood causes the body to retain sodium and increases blood pressure. Drinking enough water regularly prevents dehydration. This may play a role in keeping the blood less viscous, which in turn prevents a stroke.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Bell's Palsy and a Stroke?Bell's palsy and stroke have similar symptoms, but they are two very different conditions. Learn more about what makes them different, recognize each's symptoms, and how to treat both.
What Is the Difference Between Ischemic Stroke and Hemorrhagic Stroke?A stroke is a serious medical event that can have lasting consequences. Learn more about the two primary types of strokes and how to recognize the symptoms.
Nymalize (nimodipine)Nymalize (nimodipine) is a calcium channel blocker used to treat patients experiencing symptoms resulting from ruptured blood vessels in the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage, SAH). Common side effects of Nymalize include decreased blood pressure, headache, nausea, slowed heart rate, swelling (edema), diarrhea, rash, indigestion, fast heart rate, muscle pain or cramps, acne, or depression.
What Happens After a Stroke? Signs, Symptoms, TypesWhat is a stroke? Learn about the different types of stroke, as well as many symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with coordination. Discover causes and recovery of a stroke.
Stroke PreventionStroke is the third leading killer in the United States. Some of the warning signs of stroke include sudden confusion, trouble seeing with one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance, and more. Stroke prevention and reatable risk factors for stroke include lowering high blood pressure, quit smoking, heart disease, diabetes control and prevention.
Stroke QuizTake the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention.
StrokeA stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
Stroke vs Aneurysm (Differences and Similarities)A stroke or "brain attack" is caused because blood flow to an area of the brain has been cut off by a blood clot or by a weakened or damaged blood vessel (for example, head trauma). The damaged area of the brain dies, which results in loss of function like speech capabilities, muscle movement, or muscles of an extremity like an arm or leg is reduced or lost completely. An aneurysm is a weakness in an artery wall. This weakness in the wall causes the artery to widen or balloon out, and then they rupture or break open.
Types of StrokesA stroke, also called cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when the blood supply is cut off or reduced to a part of the brain. There are five main types of strokes, and the causes and clinical presentation of each of them vary
Warning Signs of a StrokeSigns of a stroke may sometimes go unnoticed initially and gradually progress. Sometimes, the signs of a stroke may appear suddenly.
What are the 5 Warning Signs of a Stroke?What is a stroke and what should you do if someone you know has one? Learn the signs of stroke and what to do if you think you're having one.
Yosprala (aspirin and omeprazole)Yosprala is a prescription medicine used in people who have had heart problems or strokes caused by blood clots, to help reduce their risk of further heart problems or strokes, and who are at risk of developing stomach ulcers with aspirin. Yosprala can cause serious side effects, including stomach and intestine problems, kidney failure, liver problems, low vitamin B-12 levels, low magnesium levels, and stomach growths (fundic gland polyps).