Intracranial Hemorrhages are caused by various causes. They include:
Traumatic Brain Injury – Trauma to the brain can cause intracranial hemorrhaging. Examples of traumatic brain injury include:
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury
– Traumatic Brain Injury Severe Head Injury – A head injury may result from a blow or fall. Other possible causes of severe head injuries include:
Severe Head Injury – A head injury may result from a blow or fall. Other possible causes of severe head injuries include: Closed Head Injuries – A closed head injury is caused by an impact to the head with no penetrating injuries. Common causes of closed head injury include:
Closed Head Injuries – A closed head injury is caused by an impact to the head with no penetrating injuries. Common causes of closed head injury include: Penetrating Head Injury – A penetrating head injury is caused by a sharp object that enters the skull and damages the brain. Common causes of penetrating head injuries include:
Stroke – A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced. This can be caused by:
Carotid Artery Stenosis – When the carotid arteries are affected by atherosclerosis, a narrowing of one or both of the vessels may cause a stroke. Carotid endarterectomy and carotid angioplasty are both surgical procedures that can be performed to improve or restore blood flow to the brain.
Atherosclerosis – Atherosclerosis may affect the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. When a penile vessel is affected, this condition is known as Buerger’s disease.
Anemia – Anemia can cause strokes by placing additional stress on already narrowed blood vessels.
Heart Attack – A heart attack is caused by a complete or near-complete blockage of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. A heart attack can also cause a stroke through the sudden release of clots within the heart.
Severe Infection – A severe infection may affect the brain by causing sepsis. Bacterial meningitis is an example of an infection that can also cause a brain hemorrhage.
Bleeding Disorders – A bleeding disorder affects the body’s ability to form clots and stop bleeding. This condition can cause repeated and sometimes severe bleeding from the gums or nose.
Cancer – Cancer that affects the blood vessels can cause a hemorrhage. This is most likely to occur in the brain and is a symptom of a more widespread cancer.
Other Diseases – Disease that affects the blood vessels can cause a hemorrhage. These diseases include:
Sickle Cell Disease – People who have sickle cell disease often experience recurring strokes.
Malaria – Malaria is a mosquito-borne infection that can affect blood vessels in the brain.
Connective Tissue Disease – Certain connective tissue diseases may affect blood vessels and cause strokes. These diseases include:
Other Infectious Diseases – Other infectious diseases that may affect the blood vessels and cause strokes include:
Vasculitis – Vasculitis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause inflammation of the blood vessels. This can lead to a stroke.
Seizure Disorders – A seizure is a sudden episode of excessive electrical activity in the brain. Seizures are often associated with epilepsy, which is a disorder that causes recurring seizures.
Alcohol Intoxication – Alcohol is a neurotoxin that can affect the brain and cause a stroke.
Nicotine Withdrawal – Nicotine is a toxin affecting the blood vessels. When a person stops smoking, there is a risk that the blood vessels will constrict and cause a stroke.
Drug Use – Certain drugs have been linked to strokes. These drugs include:
Symptoms of a stroke may vary depending on the area of the brain that is affected. In some more minor cases the symptoms may be similar to those of a minor head injury or a concussion. The four types of symptoms that may be experienced are:
Facial weakness or numbness
Vision problems, such as blurred vision
General muscle weakness
These signs and symptoms should be taken very seriously and medical attention should be sought immediately.
Diagnosing a stroke is often quite easy for medical professionals. A physical examination and questions related to the person’s medical history are used to make a differential diagnosis as to the cause of the stroke. One or more of the following tests may also be used to confirm that a stroke has in fact occurred.
A medical history and physical examination may reveal:
Swelling in the face, especially around the eyes
A drooping eyelid or an eye that looks downward
Numbness in the face or limbs
Weakness in the face, arm, leg, or torso on one side of the body
Loss of vision
Tests that may be used to confirm a stroke and rule out other possible conditions include:
A CT scan or MRI may be used to identify areas of dead brain tissue (ischaemic areas) caused by the stroke.
A carotid ultrasound may be used to look for blockages in the carotid artery.
An ECG may be used to measure any electrical disturbances in the heart.
The analysis of the blood may reveal a high white blood cell count, which may indicate that the body is fighting infection.
Treatment for a stroke will vary according to the type and extent of the stroke. Patients who have suffered an ischaemic stroke caused by a clot are given drugs known as t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator) or streptokinase to break down the clot. If given within three hours of the start of the stroke, these drugs have been proven to reduce long-term disabilities. These drugs must be given through an IV.
Other treatments may include:
Oxygen therapy to ensure adequate oxygen supply to the brain
A feeding tube inserted into the stomach to deliver food and water
Physical, occupational, and speech therapy to help with neurological impairments
Surgery to remove blood clots
Preventative treatment for heart disease, high blood pressure, and other heart conditions which may have contributed to the occurrence of the stroke
The most important way to prevent a stroke is by not using tobacco products. Quitting smoking can dramatically reduce the risk of a stroke in someone who has been smoking for many years. Other steps that can be taken to decrease the risk of stroke include:
Taking measures to avoid air pollution
Maintaining a healthy weight
Getting regular exercise
Eating a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and grains
Treating dental problems
Controlling high blood pressure and diabetes
Not using illegal drugs or abusing prescription drugs
If you think you or someone around you is having a stroke call for emergency assistance immediately and describe the situation to the dispatcher. Next, check to see if the person can ask for help on his or her own. If the person seems to be unable to do this, ask loudly:
What year is it?”
The person should answer with the current year.
Where are you?”
The person should answer with his or her own name, the current location (e.g. the street you’re on), and the current date.
What is the President of the United States?”
The person should be able to answer this one.
If the person is having a stroke and is unable to answer any of these questions correctly, it’s time to begin emergency procedures.
First, check the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse.
If the person is not breathing normally, begin CPR.
If the person is breathing normally, check the pulse. If there is no pulse, begin chest compressions: Place the heel of your hand in the middle of the person’s chest. Lock your other hand’s fingers around the first one and push straight down at least two inches, 100 times a minute.
Continue until the person starts breathing on their own or medical help arrives.
Once the person is breathing normally, ask the questions listed above again. If the person does not answer them normally, call for more medical help. Once again, begin chest compressions while you wait.
If the person can answer the questions normally, they may just be in shock. Move them to a lounge chair or bed and elevate their legs ten to twenty inches above their heart level. Keep them warm and monitor their condition. If they do not improve in fifteen minutes, call for more medical help.
If you have not received medical training, do not attempt to do any of the above procedures. Instead, call 911 or your local emergency number and follow the instructions of the operator or dispatcher.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Intracerebral hemorrhage: non-hypertensive causes. (CS Kase – Stroke, 1986 – Am Heart Assoc)
- Intracerebral hemorrhage (JM Gebel, JP Broderick – Neurologic clinics, 2000 – neurologic.theclinics.com)
- Early care limitations independently predict mortality after intracerebral hemorrhage (DB Zahuranec, DL Brown, LD Lisabeth, NR Gonzales… – Neurology, 2007 – AAN Enterprises)
- Oxidative brain injury from extravasated erythrocytes after intracerebral hemorrhage (J Wu, Y Hua, RF Keep, T Schallert, JT Hoff, G Xi – Brain research, 2002 – Elsevier)
- Brain edema after experimental intracerebral hemorrhage: role of hemoglobin degradation products (FP Huang, G Xi, RF Keep, Y Hua, A Nemoianu… – Journal of …, 2002 – thejns.org)