Subarachnoid haemorrhage

SAH, haemorrhagic stroke, brain haemorrhage, brain bleed

What is 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.

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.

Are you affected by Subarachnoid 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?

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.

0800 008 6417

Looking to talk to someone?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Caring for someone affected by 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)

Phone: 0161 707 6441
Website: www.basiccharity.org.uk

Brain and Spine Foundation (charity supporting those with a neurological problem)

Helpline: 0808 808 1000
Website: www.brainandspine.org.uk

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

Website: www.csfleak.info