Brain bleeding; Brain hemorrhage; Stroke - hemorrhagic
Treatment includes life-saving measures, relieving symptoms, repairing the cause of the bleeding, preventing complications, and starting rehabilitation as soon as possible. Recovery may occur over time as other areas of the brain take over functioning for the damaged areas.
Treatment is ideally administered in an intensive care unit, where complications can immediately be detected. Medical personnel pay careful attention to breathing because sometimes persons with brain hemorrhage develop very irregular breathing patterns or even stop breathing entirely.
A person having a hemorrhagic stroke may be unable to protect the airway during coughing or sneezing because of impaired consciousness. Saliva or other secretions may go "down the wrong pipe," which is potentially serious and may cause lung problems such as aspiration pneumonia. To treat or prevent these breathing problems, a tube may need to be placed through the mouth into the trachea to start mechanical ventilation.
The blood pressure may be too high or too low in patients with brain hemorrhage. These problems need to be addressed immediately by doctors. In addition, brain bleeding may cause swelling of surrounding brain tissue, and this may require therapy with some drugs called hyperosmotic agents (mannitol, glycerol, and hypertonic saline solutions).
Bedrest may be advised to avoid increasing the pressure in the head (intracranial pressure). This may include avoiding activities such as bending over, lying flat, sudden position changes or similar activities. Stool softeners or laxatives may prevent straining during bowel movements (straining also causes
Review Date: 09/10/2006
Reviewed By: Daniel Kantor, MD, Director of the Comprehensive MS Center, Neuroscience Institute, University of Florida Health Science Center, Jacksonville, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.