Brain hemorrhage: All you need to know from causes, symptoms to treatment
By: Rukmini Chopra
Published On: October 22, 2018
What is a brain hemorrhage?
A brain hemorrhage is essentially a type of stroke. A brain hemorrhage occurs when an artery in the brain bursts and causes localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. This bleeding kills the cells in the brain. Brain hemorrhages constitute around 13% of strokes.
Causes of brain hemorrhage
Several causes and risk factors of a brain hemorrhage include:
Head injury or trauma: A severe head injury or trauma caused to the head by an accident
Aneurysm: This occurs when there is a weakening in a blood vessel wall that swells. It can burst and cause bleeding inside the brain, hence resulting in a stroke.
High blood pressure: High BP can overtime result in the weakening of blood walls. High blood pressure should be treated to avoid brain strokes.
Blood vessel abnormalities: Weak blood walls around the brain may be present since birth and may only be diagnosed once the person shows symptoms.
Bleeding disorders: People with bleeding disorders such as skin cell anemia or hemophilia are at a higher risk of experiencing brain strokes as these can result in decreased level of blood palettes.
Liver disease: This condition in general contributes to increased bleeding
Brain tumours: People suffering from a brain tumor are at a higher risk of experiencing brain strokes.
Amyloid angiopathy: This is an abnormality that occurs in the blood vessel walls due to either ageing or high blood pressure. It may cause many small bleeds before causing a large one.
Symptoms of a brain hemorrhage
The symptoms of a brain hemorrhage occur according to the condition of the person- the location of bleeding in the brain, the amount of tissue affected and the severity of the bleeding. The symptoms may occur gradually or all of a sudden. Look out for these signs:
Seizures, with no previous history of them
Sudden and severe headaches
Nausea or vomiting
Weakness in the arms or legs
Lethargy or decreased alertness
Tingling or numbness
Changes in eyesight
Difficulty reading or writing
Difficulty in speaking or understanding speech
Loss of balance and coordination
Loss of consciousness
An abnormal sense of taste
How is a brain hemorrhage diagnosed?
The treatment of brain hemorrhage depends on the severity of the condition and the symptoms that the person is showing. This usually done through an MRI, CT scan or any of the following ways mentioned below:
This is a procedure in which a catheter is inserted into an artery and passed through the circulatory system leading up to the brain. A dye, which makes blood flow easy to see on X rays, is injected through the catheter.
2: Cerebrospinal fluid exam
Bleeding is indicated if there is an evidence of blood in this fluid
3: Computed tomography angiography (CTA)
In this procedure, the dye is injected directly into the bloodstream. This makes the arteries appear more clearly on the X ray and CT scan
4: A lumbar puncture
Also known as a spinal tap, this is another procedure to diagnose brain bleeds.
How is a brain hemorrhage treated?
The treatment of a brain hemorrhage depends on the severity and symptoms of the condition. These are the ways in which a hemorrhage is treated:
In some cases, a traditional surgery may be required to drain out the excess boo in the brain or repair damaged blood cells.
Brain path surgery
This is a procedure where the surgeon removes a tumor or a blood clot through a port (which is a dime-sized channel). As compared to traditional surgery, this method causes lesser complications, fewer scars and has a quicker recovery time.
In this procedure, a long thin tube is threaded through blood vessels until it reaches the part that is affected in the area
Draining out the fluid surrounding the brain
This done so that the hematoma gets space to expand without damaging other brain cells.
A person can be prescribed medication to control seizures, headaches or blood pressure.
Physical occupational and speech therapy
These forms of treatment can help patients regain brain functions such as speech, that may have been affected because of brain bleeding.
How can a brain hemorrhage be prevented?
Here are some steps that you can take to prevent a brain hemorrhage
Treat high blood pressure
If you are suffering from high blood pressure, don’t ignore it and consult your doctor immediately. Make lifestyle changes such as eating healthy food, exercising and if necessary taking medicines prescribed by your doctor.
Don’t use drugs
Consuming drugs such as cocaine can put you on a higher risk of developing brain strokes.
Drive carefully and always put on your seat belt. If you are riding a motorcycle, make sure you are wearing a helmet.
If you are suffering from abnormalities, such as aneurysms, et a check up done. A surgery can prevent future brain bleeds.
Be careful when you consume Coumadin. This is a drug that should only be consumed after checking your blood levels and making sure their range is proper. Take this medicine, only if prescribed by your doctor.
How crowdfunding can help
Cost of medical treatments in India can be exorbitant in India, especially in the private healthcare sector. The cost of brain hemorrhage can cost anywhere between Rs. 5 lakh to 15 lakhs and more.
Most Indians do not have insurance covers and many of them aren’t eligible for loans, owing to their poor economic backgrounds.
They are forced to borrow money from their friends and relatives, thereby facing the pressure of returning the funds. However, crowdfunding is proving to be a much needed relief for such helpless souls.
It is a practice in which you can ask each person to contribute a certain amount to reach the goal amount. Many Indians have benefitted from crowdfunding on Impact Guru. You can read the success stories here.
Do you wish to be a part of this movement? Start your fundraiser here!
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