Hemorrhagic Stroke: What Are the Risks?

An hemorrhagic stroke is a serious health issue that causes significant sequelae in those who suffer from it. An accurate and rapid diagnosis can prevent complications and help in subsequent rehabilitation.
Hemorrhagic Stroke: What Are the Risks?

Last update: 04 June, 2021

A hemorrhagic stroke, or cerebrovascular accident, is one of the main causes of death and disability worldwide. Prevention and early diagnosis are very important to avoid the consequences. Here are some interesting facts to know about them.

What is a hemorrhagic stroke?

A stroke is when blood flow suddenly stops in an area of the brain. It can occur due to the blockage of a cerebral artery or vein, which would be called an ischemic stroke, or due to the rupture of a blood vessel.

It’s this case of a rupture of a vessel that’s known as hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes account for only 10-15% of all strokes that occur. The damaged vessel begins to bleed, producing a cerebral hemorrhage, and the area after the rupture, which received blood and was nourished by that vessel, is left without irrigation.

The fact that an area of the brain is left without irrigation causes all the cells that make up this tissue to begin to lack oxygen and lose the ability to function, eventually dying. In addition, the hemorrhage itself compresses other areas of the brain, putting these cells at risk as well.

This is why the longer an area is without a blood supply, the more serious the consequences will be. So it’s very important to know how to quickly recognize the symptoms that can cause a stroke in order to act accordingly and minimize the risk of its consequences.

Strokes are emergency situations in which the health services activate an action protocol. The aim is to diagnose and treat it as quickly as possible to avoid serious consequences, and even the death of the patient.

Doctor viewing the brain
Hemorrhagic strokes affect cerebral circulation due to the rupture of blood vessels.

What are its symptoms?

The symptoms of a stroke may appear gradually, but they usually appear abruptly and worsen rapidly. Some of them are:

  • Weakness of a body part or loss of the ability to move it
  • A loss of sensation or tingling sensation
  • Decrease or loss of total or partial vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Inability to recognize or identify familiar things
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sleepiness, drowsiness, and even coma
  • Confusion or memory loss

Risk factors for hemorrhagic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs most often in people with damaged blood vessels. There are risk factors that will be permanent and others that will depend on the person’s lifestyle. Some of the factors that may increase the risk of cerebral hemorrhage are, for example:

  • Malformations of the blood vessels of the brain, such as cerebral aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations. These disorders make the vessels more delicate and more prone to rupture.
  • Arterial hypertension. People with uncontrolled arterial hypertension are at greater risk of a vessel rupturing, since they support greater pressure on their walls due to the blood they contain.
  • Smoking. Smoking causes the walls of blood vessels to lose elasticity, making them more susceptible to rupture at any change.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes also have damaged and weakened blood vessels.
  • Unhealthy diet, excess weight, and obesity.

As you can see, many of these factors are modifiable with a healthy lifestyle. In addition, doctors advise people to do physical exercise and a have controlled diet in terms of fats, alcohol, and other harmful substances.

A man with an intense migraine
Severe headache is often a sign of hemorrhagic stroke.

You may be interested in: 7 Stroke Preventive Measures

Act quickly in the event of hemorrhagic stroke

Strokes are one of the leading causes of death, especially in developed countries. It’s also a major cause of acquired disability. As we’ve already said, it’s very important to recognize the signs of a stroke as soon as possible, in order to act quickly and avoid its sequelae.

When acted upon and treated quickly, even if some of the tissue has died, other tissue can recover. With rehabilitation, many of the functions that had been lost return to normal. It’s essential, therefore, to notify the emergency health services when you suspect a stroke. In conclusion, take care of yourself and be alert!

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