loss of consciousness without warning.
on one side of the face or body.
difficulty or loss of ability to speak.
or double vision, dilated pupils, crossed eyes, or inability
to move the eyes.
When To Call Your Doctor
an ambulance immediately if you or someone in your presence exhibits
symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke.
What Is It?
A hemorrhagic stroke is one of the two main types
of strokes. It results when a ruptured artery causes bleeding
into the brain (intracerebral hemorrhage) or into the space between
the membranes surrounding the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage).
Damage occurs in two ways. First, blood supply
is cut off to the parts of the brain beyond the site of the rupture
in the artery. Secondand more dangerousthe escaped
blood forms a mass that increases pressure on the surrounding
brain tissue. Blood continues to flow until it coagulates or
until it simply has no place left to go. Intracerebral bleeds
usually occur in the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls
higher functions such as speaking and reasoning. Subarachnoid
hemorrhages usually occur at the base of the brain. Massive hemorrhages
are usually fatal; only about 25 percent of patients survive.
What Causes It?
pressure is the main cause.
(the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries) weakens arterial
walls, further increasing the risk of hemorrhage due to hypertension.
(such as hemophilia and leukemia) and the use of anticoagulant
or thrombolytic drugs increase the risk of intracerebral bleeding.
spots in the wall of an artery that may burst) are a major cause
of subarachnoid hemorrhage. They are often due to congenital
defects (defects present at birth).
abnormalities such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM) may result
in a stroke.
A head injury
may rupture arteries in the brain.
may lead to intracerebral bleeding.
pressure and weight under control.
undiagnosed aneurysms will often have severe, sudden, unusual
headaches initially. If the cause of these can be identified,
arteriography (diagnostic imaging of the arteries) may reveal
a surgically treatable aneurysm.
may be used to detect cerebral aneurysms before they rupture.
A lumbar puncture
(spinal tap) may be used to test for blood in the cerebrospinal
fluid and to check for increased pressure within the skull.
(computed tomography) scans of the head may be taken to
identify and assess the amount of hemorrhaging in the brain.
(magnetic resonance imaging) can detect abnormal blood vessels, underlying
tumors, and some aneurysms.
How To Treat It
Call an ambulance
evaluation, physicians may take emergency measures to reduce
blood pressure to minimize the flow of blood from the ruptured
may be necessary.
if attempted at all, is usually delayed for one to two weeks
after the incident, although another approach calls for more
rapid surgical intervention in some cases.
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