Cerebral haemorrhage refers to uncontrolled bleeding in the brain. The reason for its occurrence can be from an injury or because of a burst or leaking blood vessel. A blood vessel tends to burst when it gets weakened as its wall is no longer able to survive the pressure of the blood flowing through it or due a balloon like outpouching in its wall.
High blood pressure, build-up of plaque and cholesterol deposits in artery walls is responsible for the weakening of blood vessel walls. Bulges in weakened areas, known as aneurysms, form when blood vessels are damaged. Other than that, aneurysms can also be present at the time of birth.
Arteriovenous malformations are defined as the abnormal connections between veins and arteries that may be present at birth. These malformations and other vascular abnomalies can lead to cerebral haemorrhage.
The symptoms of cerebral haemorrhage are based on their location. Some can interfere with the motor functioning of different body parts, while others can hinder language, vision, language or sensation.
1) Common Symptoms of Cerebral Haemorrhage
- Sudden severe headache/ vommitings.
- Change in level of consciousness or alertness.
- Seizures, numbness or weakness.
2) Serious Symptoms of Cerebral Haemorrhage
Cerebral haemorrhage is always an emergency situation and is a massive threat to a person’s life. A person needs to seek immediate medical care if they suffer any of the following life-threatening symptoms:
- Alteration in level of consciousness or alertness.
- Change in mental state or experiencing sudden behavioural changes like confusion, lethargy, delirium, delusions or hallucinations.
- Paralysis or inability to move a particular body part.
- Slurred speech or an inability to speak.
- A sudden change in vision, loss of vision, or eye pain.
- The worst type of headache pain.
3) Risk Factors for Cerebral Haemorrhage
Some factors increase the risk of developing cerebral haemorrhage. Not all people with risk factors will get cerebral haemorrhage. Risk factors include:
- Arteriovenous malformations caused due to abnormal connections between veins and arteries.
- Atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque on the walls of the coronary arteries.
- Cerebral aneurysms which refer to the life-threatening weakening and bulging of the artery walls that can burst and lead to severe brain haemorrhage.
- Long term/ uncontrolled Hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Use of blood thinning medications (antiplatelets/ anticaogulation).
- Head trauma
- Amyloid angiopathy, which refers to deposits of protein in the artery walls.
4) Reducing Your Risk of Cerebral Haemorrhage
The risk of cerebral haemorrhage can be reduced by:
- Controlling the blood pressure.
- Consuming a healthy diet.
- Working out regularly.
- Quit smoking
- Using essential safety devices like helmets and seatbelts when needed.
- Judicious and monitored use of blod thinning medications.
5) Treatment of Cerebral Haemorrhage
At the occurrence of a cerebral haemorrhage, treatment depends upon the reason of the haemorrhage, as well as its site and the amount of blood. Surgery may be required, and medications may be prescribed to control symptoms. After the initial treatment is completed, rehabilitation is necessary for complete recovery.
6) Common Initial Treatments for Cerebral Haemorrhage
- Interventional radiology to treat abnormal blood vessels and also to minimise the blood flow to the bleeding area (clipping/coiling ).
- Anticonvulsants to regulate seizures.
- Surgery to drain blood clots as well as relieve pressure.
- Pain medications to increase comfort.
- Medications to reduce or lower Blod pressure and also brain swelling.
- Management in a equiped Neurointensive unit.
Patients suffering from strokes should seek medical help immediately. One of the best hospitals for stroke treatment is Max Healthcare, which consists of an extremely renowned team of healthcare specialists.
The complications of an untreated cerebral haemorrhage can be severe and even life-threatening in many instances. A patient can minimise the risk of severe complications by following the treatment plan their health care professional designs for them, a good control of risk factors and healthy life style.