Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. When this occurs, the blood pools, causing brain swelling and pressure that damages surrounding brain tissue. When this occurs, know that SSM Health offers the latest advances in stroke care for this potentially devastating condition.
The most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled high blood pressure, which puts additional stress on the artery walls until they break. A ruptured vessel may also result from an aneurysm, a ballooning of a weakened section of a vessel, or from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a cluster of abnormally formed blood vessels.
There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes: intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the area between the brain and tissues that cover the brain).
Signs & Symptoms of Hemorrhagic Stroke
If you or someone you love is at risk for stroke, recognizing the signs and symptoms could help save a life. Stroke symptoms usually come on suddenly and may include:
- Sudden and severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Speech problems
Time is critical when a stroke occurs. Prepare for the unexpected and find an SSM Health emergency room nearest to you, so you know where to go in the event of an emergency.
Treating Hemorrhagic Stroke
A hemorrhagic stroke is a medical emergency. Immediate care is critical. The goal of treatment for hemorrhagic stroke is to stop the bleeding and reduce the pressure in your brain. Medication may be used if there is a minor amount of bleeding. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary.
If the hemorrhagic stroke is due to a ruptured brain aneurysm, an SSM Health neurosurgeon can place a tiny metal clamp at the base of the aneurysm to stop the bleeding. This procedure requires an open brain surgery called a craniotomy.
Our team also offers non-surgical coiling, a less invasive treatment alternative.
Hemorrhagic stroke is a life-threatening condition. If you think you are having a stroke, call 911 or have someone drive you to the hospital immediately. While medical advances have improved outcomes, stroke still causes 1 in 20 deaths in the US. Your best odds are preventing one from happening in the first place. Take our stroke risk assessment to learn about your risk factors and then schedule an appointment with your SSM Health Provider to learn how you can minimize your stroke risk.