An intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding inside the skull (cranium). The pooling of blood puts pressure on the brain, which can lead to rapid brain damage or death. Intracranial hemorrhages are life-threatening medical emergencies that require immediate treatment, so call 9-1-1 if you experience symptoms.
Experience trusted neurological care at Dignity Health, including diagnosis and treatment of brain hemorrhage symptoms in Arizona. Learn more about our comprehensive neurology services at each state-of-the-art location:
Intracranial Hemorrhage Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of an intracranial hemorrhage usually come on abruptly. The most common sign is a sudden and severe headache, although this may not always occur, particularly among older people. Other intracranial hemorrhage signs and symptoms are:
- Tingling, weakness, or paralysis (loss of movement) on one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking
- Disorientation and confusion
- Loss of or change in vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Change in level of consciousness (a)lertness
Call 911 immediately if you experience any signs or symptoms of an intracranial hemorrhage.
Causes of Intracranial Hemorrhage Symptoms
An intracranial hemorrhage occurs when an artery inside the skull leaks or ruptures. Bleeding in or around the brain called a cerebral (b)rain hemorrhage.
The main causes of intracranial hemorrhage are:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure). High blood pressure can weaken the blood vessels in your brain, causing them to leak or rupture.
- Head trauma. Any type of trauma to the head can cause a blood vessel to rupture, especially if there is an existing weak spot.
- Abnormalities in the blood vessels of the brain. Conditions such as an aneurysm can lead to ruptures that spill blood into the skull.
Less common causes of intracranial hemorrhage include bleeding disorders (p)articularly those that require blood-thinning medication, abnormal arteries or veins, smoking, and use of illegal drugs such as cocaine.
Treatment of Intracranial Hemorrhage at Dignity Health
Treatment of intracranial hemorrhage focuses on stopping the bleeding and reducing brain damage. Our doctors may perform surgery to relieve pressure on the brain or repair the rupture. We often give blood transfusions and medication to improve blood clotting.
Those who survive an intracranial hemorrhage may require rehabilitation if permanent damage has occurred. The faster you get treatment, the better your chances are for a positive recovery.
Prevention of intracranial hemorrhage depends on the cause. While not all factors can be controlled, you can work with your doctor to reduce your risk by taking these steps.
- Manage high blood pressure. Doing so reduces the risk of damage to the blood vessels in your brain.
- Avoid smoking or illegal drugs.
- Protect yourself from head trauma by removing hazards from your environment that could cause falls.
- Wear a helmet when performing activities that could result in head injuries, such as cycling.
Dignity Health provides expert diagnosis for intracranial hemorrhage in Arizona.