Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a serious complication resulting from a head injury. It refers to bleeding in the subarachnoid space, the area between the brain and its surrounding tissue.
This space is filled with cerebrospinal fluid that acts as a cushion and protects the brain from severe injuries. Although the purpose of this part of the brain is to protect the body, the area itself is not injury-proof. A hemorrhage in the subarachnoid space can lead to paralysis or coma and 40 percent of these hemorrhages are fatal.
Symptoms of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) can occur quickly and requires immediate medical attention. The person who suffers SAH may complain of a severe, unbearable headache that originates at the base of the skull. The patient may even feel a popping sensation right before he or she starts experiencing excruciating pain. Other symptoms of subarachnoid hemorrhage are:
- numbness throughout the body
- neck pain
- shoulder pain
- rapid loss of alertness
- sensitivity to light
- vision problems
Symptoms can come on suddenly and the person may suddenly become unconscious. If a car accident victim complains of any such symptoms, take them to the hospital immediately – a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
Common Causes of Subarachnoid Hemorrhages
The most common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhages are congenital berry aneurysms. These aneurysms resemble a cluster of berries and are present inside a cerebral vessel. Over time, these berries swell and weaken the walls of arteries causing them to erupt, bleed, and form a clot. However, a severe brain trauma caused by a car accident can also cause a subarachnoid hemorrhage. It can also occur because of a head trauma caused when someone falls and hits his or her head.
Treatment for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Prognosis
Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition that needs urgent treatment. Immediate medical intervention can reduce the chances of brain damage and save a person’s life. Doctors may perform a surgery to clip the aneurysm, stop bleeding, and to repair the aneurysm permanently. Unfortunately, even after extensive treatment the patient may not recover and may die of hemorrhage. However, the sooner medical treatment is sought, the better the chances of survival.
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