Hemorrhagic Stroke – Cause and Treatment Options

A Hemorrhagic Stroke takes place when a blood vessel ruptures and subsequently blood accumulates in nearby cells. There are two possible causes of a Hemorrhagic Stroke – an Aneurysm (a weak area in a blood vessel that breaks open) or Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), an abnormally formed blood vessel that opens up and bleeds. About 13 percent of strokes are Haemorrhagic, which is also known as intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

ICH symptoms are severe, including an intense, head exploding headache. Other common symptoms include confusion or disorientation, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, vision problems and dizziness or fainting.

People over 65 years are more likely to have this type of stroke, particularly if they have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes and obesity issues. The long-term effects of a Hemorrhagic stroke depend on the location and severity of the stroke. It can cause seizures, memory and think related issues, heart problems, swallowing problems as well as difficulties in eating and drinking .

Treatment Options

The immediate emergency care that focuses on controlling the bleeding in the brain and reducing the pressure caused by the bleeding is crucial for an ICH. Based on the symptoms and severity level, the patient should be prescribed medication or surgery.

Medications

Medicine can be used to slow down the bleeding or reducing blood pressure. Drugs should be given to the patient urgently to prevent the blood vessels from tightening and seizures. A person taking blood thinners should be given a drug to counter the effect of the thinners during emergency treatment.

Surgical Treatment

Once a minor Hemorrhagic stroke is brought under control, supportive care may be the only other form of care the survivor will need. If the rupture is severe and produces a great amount of bleeding and pressure, further treatment measures should be taken to repair the ruptured blood vessel and stop the bleeding. If the stroke is triggered by an AVM, surgery may be used to eliminate it, depending on the location of the AVM. Some patients may require surgery to be relieved from the pressure caused by the bleeding and brain swelling. Once bleeding stops, surgery may be an option for prevention of another hemorrhage. This can be done by repairing blood vessel abnormalities post strokes. For the best prevention, an aneurysm should be repaired with a surgical clip.

Recovery from a Hemorrhagic Stroke

Once the stroke survivor is out of immediate danger, the next focus should be on rehabilitation. Children tend to recover more quickly from stroke compared to adults. Since their brains are still in the development stage, they have a better chance of returning to a normal lifestyle faster. However, people who had experienced minor ICH are able to reduce post-stroke complications during their hospital stay.

The duration of stroke recovery depends on the stroke severity, the level of tissue damage in the brain and how soon the survivor was able to get treatment. Different kinds of therapy, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, meditation or yoga could be included in the patient’s rehabilitation plan. As high blood pressure is the most likely cause of an ICH, practicing exercise that focuses on regulating blood pressure is the best way to avoid any future risk.