Subarachnoid brain haemorrhage

SAH, haemorrhagic stroke, brain haemorrhage, brain bleed, subarachnoid haemorrhage

What is a subarachnoid haemorrhage?

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a rare type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain.

What causes subarachnoid haemorrhage?

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is usually caused when a weakened blood vessel in the brain bursts, known as a ruptured brain aneurysm.

It’s not known why brain aneurysms develop, but factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol consumption, family history and severe head injury can increase the risk.

There are three other types of brain haemorrhage, a subdural haemorrhage, extradural haemorrhage and intracerebral haemorrhage.

What are the symptoms of subarachnoid haemorrhage?

There are usually no warning signs, but sometimes a subarachnoid haemorrhage can happen during physical effort, such as lifting something heavy.

Symptoms of a subarachnoid haemorrhage may include:

  • A stiff neck
  • Feeling and being sick
  • The worst headache you have ever had
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Stroke like symptoms such as one side of the body slouching, or slurred speech
  • Convulsions and loss of consciousness

If you think someone has experienced a subarachnoid haemorrhage, they will need a CT scan to check for bleeding around the brain.

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a medical emergency. If you think someone has the above symptoms, call 999 immediately.

Are you affected by Subarachnoid brain haemorrhage?

If you’re affected by subarachnoid haemorrhage, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Together, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with subarachnoid haemorrhage, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy  and social activities to people with subarachnoid haemorrhage from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with subarachnoid haemorrhage

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with subarachnoid haemorrhage? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including subarachnoid haemorrhage, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity's library has a range of resources on subarachnoid haemorrhage and many other disability-related issues

Support groups

Liverpool Brain Haemorrhage Support Group

The Liverpool Brain Haemorrhage Support Group meets at The Brain Charity’s coffee morning on the first and third Monday of the month. Please contact us if you want to join in or click here for more details.

Other charities

BASIC (Brain and Spinal Injury Charity - charity offering rehabilitation programmes)

Brain and Spine Foundation

CSF Leak Association (charity working to raise the profile and support understanding of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks)