A subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs when bleeding develops in the space between the brain and the membrane that protects it. Known as the subarachnoid space, this area cushions the brain, protecting it from injury. Cerebrospinal fluid circulates throughout the area. Patients experiencing a subarachnoid hemorrhage often report an intense, sudden headache with severe pain at the base of their skull. They may feel a popping sensation in their head, and most describe the headache as the worst of their lives. Patients might also notice pain in their neck and shoulders, a feeling of numbness throughout their body, decreased or double vision, and confusion. Seizures, sensitivity to light, and a rapid loss of mental alertness could occur. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is considered a life-threatening medical emergency, and patients exhibiting indicators of this condition should be taken to an emergency room by ambulance. Doctors at the hospital will perform CT or MRI scans, and some patients may need to have cerebral angiography or a lumbar puncture. Treatment focuses on stabilizing the patient, and surgical interventions are the primary treatment method. Subarachnoid hemorrhages are more common in women, and they occur most often in individuals between forty to sixty-five years old.
The major causes of subarachnoid hemorrhages are outlined below.
Head trauma refers to any type of injury to the scalp, skull, or brain, including concussions and skull fractures. Doctors classify head injuries as either closed or open. A closed head injury occurs if the skull itself is not broken, and an open head injury involves a break in the skull and penetration of the brain itself. Head injuries are caused by blows to the head or shaking. Although head injuries due to shaking are most common in infants and children, they can occur in individuals of any age who have experienced violent shaking. Head injuries associated with a blow to the head are typically caused by traumas such as car and motorcycle accidents, falls, athletic injuries, and physical assaults. To assess head trauma, doctors will look for bruising and swelling, and the patient will have a neurological examination and imaging studies to check for abnormalities, including bleeding in the brain. Treatment for head trauma often involves a hospital stay, and emergency surgery may be required for certain types of head injuries.
Uncover the next cause of a subarachnoid hemorrhage now.