What is a subarachnoid haemorrhage?
A subarachnoid haemorrhage is an uncommon and life-threatening 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?
Symptoms of a subarachnoid haemorrhage include:
- A sudden, severe headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Stroke-like symptoms, such as slurred speech
- Feeling sick
A subarachnoid haemorrhage can occur during physical straining, such as lifting something heavy or exercise.
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.