A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke that is caused by an artery in the brain bursting and causing bleeding in the surrounding tissues. Also known as cerebral hemorrhages, intracranial hemorrhages, and intracerebral hemorrhages, they account for as much as 13% of strokes in humans.
Bleeding from a hemorrhage can cause compression and damage to the brain tissues. Compression from excessive bleeding caused due to hemorrhage may be so severe that it can prevent the oxygen-rich blood from flowing to the brain tissue. This lack of oxygen in the brain can cause swelling or cerebral edema.
Pooled blood from the excessive bleeding from a brain hemorrhage can collect into a mass of blood. This mass of blood is known as a hematoma. Due to these conditions, the pressure on nearby brain tissue increases, and this reduces vital blood flow that kills brain cells.
Above: Pictorial Representation Of Hematoma (Left) and Hemorrhage (Right)
As there are several risk factors and causes that can lead to brain hemorrhages. The common ones are:
With the help of your doctor/ healthcare professional, you can determine if there is any reason for concern. Your doctor can suggest getting additional tests to determine the exact cause of brain hemorrhage. In most cases, the initial step would be to get a noninvasive ultrasound that will show an image of your veins and arteries and help your doctor make a more accurate diagnosis.
The symptoms of brain hemorrhage depend on a variety of factors such as the location of bleeding, the severity of bleeding, and the amount of tissue affected. Symptoms of brain hemorrhage can either develop suddenly or overtime. As brain hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should visit a doctor immediately:
The above-mentioned symptoms are often caused due to conditions other than brain hemorrhages as well.
Only a qualified doctor can determine if you have a brain hemorrhage depending on your symptoms and the part of the brain affected. Your doctor may run different imaging tests such as a CT Scan and MRI to check for internal bleeding or blood accumulation. A neurological or an eye exam may be performed to check for swelling in the optic nerve.
Above: Imaging Test- CT Scan Of A Brain With Hemorrhagic Stroke
Treatment for brain hemorrhage depends on different factors. Surgery may be needed in some cases to alleviate swelling and prevent further bleeding. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines that may include painkillers, corticosteroids or diuretics, and anticonvulsants.
Dr. Vikas Gupta is one of the most reputed neurosurgeons in Delhi. He has been practicing neurosurgery for the past 35 years and is among a handful neurosurgeons in India who are formally trained in both micro-neurosurgeries and neuro-interventional surgeries. He currently serves as the HOD and Consultant for the Department of Neurosurgery and Neuro-Interventional Surgery at the prestigious Manipal Hospital, Delhi.
Recovery from a brain hemorrhage is largely dependent on the size of the brain hemorrhage, the amount of swelling, and how well a patient responds to treatment. While some patients recover completely, some suffer from possible complications such as stroke, loss of brain function, side effects from treatments. Death is possible too, despite prompt medical treatment.
Some ways to minimize the risk for brain hemorrhage include: