Brain Hemorrhage

Overview of Brain Hemorrhage

Brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke that is caused by bleeding in the brain. This bleeding kills the surrounding brain cells. Brain hemorrhage is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Did you know?

The Greek word for blood is “Hemo” and hemorrhage literally means “Blood bursting forth”. Brain hemorrhage is also known as cerebral hemorrhage, intracranial hemorrhages, or intracerebral hemorrhage.

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Hemorrhage

The symptom of brain hemorrhage can vary depending upon the location and severity of the bleeding. The symptoms develop suddenly and progressively worsen.
If you exhibit any of the following signs, you must immediately call help as this is a life-threatening disease and requires immediate care. The symptoms include:

  • Sudden and severe headaches
  • Suddenly developing a blurred vision
  • A feeling of tingling or numbness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness in one arm or leg
  • Difficulty in swelling food
  • Having hand tremors.
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Imbalance
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty in coordinating
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty in reading/writing
  • Intolerance towards a bright light
  • dizziness/ confusion
  • Stupor
  • Coma

Types of Brain Hemorrhage

There are several types of brain hemorrhages. The type depends on the location of the bleeding:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage: This type of bleeding occurs inside the brain.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage: This bleeding occurs between the brain and the membranes that cover it.
  • Subdural hemorrhage: in this type of hemorrhage, the bleeding occurs between the inner layer of the dura and the brain.
  • Epidural hemorrhage: in epidural hemorrhage, the bleeding occurs between the skull and brain.

Whatever the type of hemorrhage, it is a serious life threatening condition and immediate medical help must be sought.

Causes of Brain Hemorrhage

The causes of brain hemorrhage include:

  • High blood pressure - this chronic condition can weaken the blood vessels. Keeping the blood pressure in check can prevent many serious consequences.
  • Aneurysm - this is a condition in which the wall of the blood vessel swells. It can burst and cause bleeding in the brain.
  • Head injury or trauma - this is the most common cause of brain hemorrhage in individuals less than 50 years of age.
  • Brain tumor- cancer development in the brain region
  • Abnormalities in blood vessels - these abnormalities may be present in vessels around the brain and may exist since birth. They are usually only diagnosed when symptoms appear.
  • Consuming illegal drugs - consuming illicit drugs can lead to liver issues and brain damage
  • Liver disease - the liver disease is associated with increased bleeding.
  • Bleeding disorders - bleeding disorders lead to reduced levels of blood platelets and clotting. The thinning of blood is also a factor.

Risk Factors of Brain Hemorrhage
  • Heavy smoking
  • Excessive alcohol drinking
  • Diabetes
  • Very high blood pressure
  • Extreme stress and anxiety


There are multiple complications that give rise to certain other risk factors due to brain hemorrhage. Some complications can be:

  • Paralysis
  • Numbness or weakness in body
  • Loss of vision
  • Reduced ability to speak or understand words
  • Emotional vulnerability or mood swings



It is important to prevent yourself from any brain injury. Wear protective head gear when riding bikes or motorcycles. Put on your seat belts while driving.
Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, doing enough physical exercise, limiting your tobacco and alcohol consumption are some of the ways which can help you lead a healthy life.
If you are suffering from diabetes or blood pressure issues, make sure to regularly check these.



Firstly, your doctor will ask you about your medical history. He/she will take your blood pressure and perform a neurological and heart exam.
For a complete diagnosis, you would also have to undergo some imaging tests. These include:

Your doctor might perform some of the following procedures depending upon the type of hemorrhage you are having.

  • Spinal tap - this procedure is also known as lumbar puncture. Your doctor would perform this if a subarachnoid hemorrhage is suspected. In this procedure, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is drawn from your back through a needle. The fluid is then examined to look for any blood in it.
  • MRI angiography - this test is performed to analyze the blood flow to the brain.

If these tests show indications that you are having a stroke, the most important thing then is to identify the cause. As brain hemorrhage involves bleeding in the brain, it’s extremely critical to prevent excessive bleeding.
Your doctor will also check for traces of any blood-thinning medication that you might be taking. In this condition, it is extremely important to make the blood form clots as these clots help to prevent any further bleeding.

Treatment of Brain Hemorrhage | When to Consult a Doctor

Size of hemorrhage - a large brain hemorrhage has extreme severity as the entire brain is in danger due to increasing pressure. At this stage, the prime goal of doctors is to lower down the intracranial pressure. Sometimes, a person may be made to hyperventilate using ventilators.

The treatment of brain hemorrhage depends upon its size, locations, and the amount of swelling it is causing. Once your doctor has identified the exact location of bleeding, he/she may perform the following procedures:

  • BrainPath surgery - in this procedure, your surgeon would remove the tumor through a dime-sized channel or port. Brain path surgery causes less scarring and complications than atypical surgery. It also has a quick recovery time. 
  • Traditional surgery- in some cases, traditional surgery needs to be performed to drain our blood or to repair any internal damages in the brain. 
  • Draining the fluids - draining the fluids around the brain is also a commonly practiced approach. This creates space for the hematoma to expand without causing any damage to the brain cells.  
  • Medication - your doctor can also prescribe you some medication to control the blood pressure, seizure, or headaches. 
  • Catheter - in this process, a long thin tube is inserted into the blood vessel until it reaches the specified area
  • Therapy - sometimes as a result of a brain hemorrhage, a person may face difficulty in speech and other fine motor skills. Physical and speech therapy can help them lead a normal healthy life.

In case you exhibit any concerning signs and symptoms, consult a medical professional as soon as possible.