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Resources and legal help for Brain & Spinal Cord Injury Survivors

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Subarachnoid hemorrhage is the result of a blood vessel bursting in the subarachnoid space, which is the area just outside of the brain. This causes the area to quickly fill with blood.

Symptoms of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

As a result of the rapid, intense pressure, the most common symptom of subarachnoid hemorrhage is sudden, severe headache. This pain is often described afterward as the worst headache ever experienced by the patient. Other symptoms include neck pain, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, loss of consciousness and death occur.

Causes of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

The most frequent cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage is abnormalities in the arteries located at the base of the brain. Called cerebral aneurysms, there are small areas of either rounded or irregular swellings in the arteries. As the swelling continues the arteries weaken, and become prone to breaking. While subarachnoid hemorrhages can occur in people of any age and any gender, they are slightly more common in women than in men.

Prognosis of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Prognosis is grim, with mortality and permanent disability a common result of subarachnoid hemorrhage. About 35 percent of patients die from the first subarachnoid hemorrhage, while another 15 percent die from a subsequent aneurysm within days or weeks. Some degree of permanent brain damage is common among survivors.

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