that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and blood quickly fills the area immediately surrounding the brain and spinal cord called the
subarachnoid space. This space contains the cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions and bathes the brain and spinal cord. This life-threatening condition, which requires emergency medical care, may increase the pressure around the brain and can interfere with its function.
If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to subarachnoid hemorrhage. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, however, get medical care right away.
Angiogram—a type of x-ray; images of the blood vessels of the brain are taken after dye is injected in the bloodstream
Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a serious condition requiring initial treatment in the intensive care unit. Despite treatment, approximately 25%-30% of patients with this condition die.
The aim of treatment is to stop the bleeding, limit damage to the brain, and reduce the risk of recurrence. If bleeding results from a cerebral aneurysm, a surgeon will usually attempt to stop it using various techniques. Patients receive medications to insure proper blood flow to the rest of the brain and must remain at absolute bed rest to prevent additional bleeding. Once the situation is stabilized, patients undertake a vigorous rehabilitation program.
If you are diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, follow your doctor's instructions.
Aneurysms present since birth cannot be prevented. Since they are so rare, doctors do not recommend screening for them. However, not smoking and controlling blood pressure can theoretically reduce the risk of a rupture if an aneurysm exists. If an unruptured aneurysm is discovered by chance in a young individual, it will usually be removed surgically if possible.
The consistent use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage from
Feigin, V, Parag, V, Lawes, CM, et al. Smoking and elevated blood pressure are the most important risk factors for subarachnoid hemorrhage in the Asia-pacific region: an overview of 26 cohorts involving 306,620 participants.
Ingall, T, Asplund, K, Mahonen, M, Bonita, R. A multinational comparison of subarachnoid hemorrhage epidemiology in the WHO MONICA stroke study.
Mayberg MR, Batjer HH, Dacey R, et al. Guidelines for the management of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. A statement for healthcare professionals from a special writing group of the Stroke Council, American Heart Association.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a