Have you or a loved one been recently diagnosed with Hemorrhagic Stroke? It can be quite overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. However, there is hope on the horizon for you or your loved one. It is a compilation of hemorrhagic stroke facts compiled from our research and offering one of the best explanations available on hemorrhagic stroke.
What is Total Stroke?
Total stroke, also called a hemorrhagic stroke, is an event where blood vessels break and leak blood into the brain. A hemorrhage may occur anywhere in the body and result in a hematoma (a collection of clotted blood), leading to a clot that blocks an artery or vein leading to the brain or spinal cord. If a blood vessel gets blocked for more than a few days, pressure builds up, and brain tissue is damaged. In a hemorrhagic stroke, blockage occurs in the brain caused by the arterial blood vessels being directly or indirectly affected.
What Causes Hemorrhagic Stroke?
There are many different causes of hemorrhagic stroke. The causes can be divided into two main categories: congenital and acquired (or non-congenital). Acquired causes include head injuries, tumors, and blockages within the brain (e.g., an aneurysm). Congenital causes are conditions that affect the body before birth and are responsible for the majority of hemorrhagic strokes.
How Common is Hemorrhagic Stroke?
More than 795,000 people in the United States have a hemorrhagic stroke each year. Of those 795,000 people, about 135,000 die, while others go on to experience permanent neurological damage. In those who survive, long-term neurological damage occurs in at least 40% of patients.
What are the Symptoms of Hemorrhagic Stroke?
The symptoms of hemorrhagic stroke can be different for each person and depend on the part of the brain that is affected. This is because hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a variety of factors and the level of damage to the brain. However, the most common symptoms include sudden changes in muscle tone, loss of vision, aphasia (difficulty in speaking and understanding verbal language), vertigo (dizziness), and headaches.
How is Hemorrhagic Stroke Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of hemorrhagic stroke can be a complicated process, as it is difficult to tell the difference between some of the symptoms of stroke and those caused by other factors. A false-negative diagnosis may be given if a doctor does not examine all potential causes for these symptoms. This is why it is important to go to the emergency room immediately after noticing that you have some symptoms. The following are some tests that can be done in the emergency room to aid in the diagnosis:
CT scan – This test creates a picture of the brain and is used to look for hemorrhages, abscesses, and areas of abnormal tissue. This type of scan does not always show an aneurysm, whether or not it is full of blood.
MRI – This test takes clearer pictures than a regular x-ray and does not use radiation. It can also show where the damage in the brain has occurred.
Angiography – This test injects dye into the blood vessels and takes an X-ray to show where the bleeding is coming from. However, not all aneurysms can be seen through angiography.
How is Hemorrhagic Stroke Treated?
Treatment of hemorrhagic stroke depends on the cause of the stroke, how severe the damage is, and whether or not a person has had a previous stroke. After a stroke, it is important to call for emergency assistance right away. Once in the emergency room, treatment may include:
Blood thinners – This treatment helps prevent another clot from forming and can be given with other medications to reduce brain damage. Blood thinners are not beneficial if the stroke is caused by an aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
Thrombolytic therapy – This treatment dissolves clots through the use of medication. It may be beneficial if given within 3 hours of the stroke.
Surgery to remove an aneurysm or AVM that is causing injury to the brain. If hemorrhagic stroke is caused by another condition, such as a tumor, this type of surgery would not be done.
Treatment for issues caused by blood loss, such as shock, low blood pressure, and dehydration.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Hemorrhagic Stroke?
The long-term effects of hemorrhagic stroke depend on the location of the stroke and how severe it is. There are many different areas in the brain that are affected by hemorrhagic stroke, depending on how it is caused. Although there are many different types of areas affected, they can be grouped into the following categories: language, motor function, and memory. These include the following:
Language – Language function can be decreased or even lost as a result of hemorrhagic stroke. This can occur because the path of blood in the brain is restricted, and clots form, cutting off blood flow to specific areas located in the brain. Aphasia can result, causing problems with communication.
Motor function – Motor function is affected by two major parts of the brain. One is the motor cortex that controls movement and muscle control as well as thought. Another major part of the brain is called the thalamus, which sends commands to the muscles. If there are lesions in these areas, oral communication and movement may be affected.
Memory – Memory functions can be affected by hemorrhagic stroke depending on where it occurs in the brain’s structure. One area is called the hippocampus, which helps with memory and learning and can be injured through hemorrhagic stroke.
Hemorrhagic stroke is a serious condition that can cause permanent damage resulting in disability. This is why it is important to get prompt treatment following a stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke can occur as a result of many different conditions, including aneurysms and AVMs. Because of the location of the blood vessels in the brain, it is difficult to know which condition will have the most harmful effects on brain function. Getting prompt treatment for hemorrhagic stroke is crucial to reducing or preventing permanent damage and disability.