Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage?

A Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage is a condition where there is bleeding into the subarachnoid space which is the area between the arachnoid membrane and pia mater around the brain. The most common cause for this is a head injury. It may also occur spontaneously due to a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.

Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage

Causes of Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage

Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage can occur due to direct impact to the head resulting in a head injury such as getting hit on the head by a hard object, car accidents or falling and landing on the head. It can occur spontaneously due to a ruptured cerebral aneurysm. This occurs in individuals who have high blood pressure and are smokers between the ages of 20-60. Women are slightly more affected than men.

Symptoms of Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage

  • Severe headache usually present at the back of the head.
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness.
  • Irritability.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Change in consciousness.
  • Sensitivity to bright lights.
  • Alteration in breathing and pulse rates.
  • Seizures.
  • Loss of consciousness.

Treatment of Subarachnoid Brain Hemorrhage

  • Immediate medical attention should be sought.
  • CT Scan, MRI scan or angiography helps in confirming a hematoma.
  • Usually, surgery is required.
  • The aim of surgery is to remove the blood/hematoma and decrease the pressure on the brain.
  • If the cause of bleeding is ruptured aneurysm, then surgery is done to repair the aneurysm and drain the blood.
  • After the surgery, the patient is closely monitored for any change in his/her condition which may indicate additional bleeding or brain injury.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 10, 2016

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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