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Subarachnoid Hemorrhages Essay

1448 words - 6 pages

A Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, or SAH, is devastating and usually has a traumatic outcome. Basically, an SAH is bleeding that occurs between the brain and what surrounds it. This surrounding area is known as the arachnoid, thus the reasoning behind the name. The main cause of SAH is cerebral, or brain aneurysms, because aneurysms usually have more fragile walls than normal vessels, putting them at more of a risk to rupture. Subarachnoid hemorrhages are not something to be taken lightly, as they have many dangers. Many people lack awareness of the dangers accompanied with subarachnoid hemorrhages as soon as they occur, during the treatment of them, and even with life after surviving the hemorrhage.
First, as soon as a subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs, there are many dangers to consider. While a brain aneurysm may not have any symptoms, an SAH does and they are unfortunately very sudden. Since an SAH is bleeding from the arteries, the rupture causes abrupt bleeding. From The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, Ms. Julia Barrett describes that the immediate danger caused by subarachnoid hemorrhages would be ischemia. She states, “Ischemia refers to tissue damage caused by restricted or blocked blood flow. The areas of the brain that do not receive adequate blood and oxygen can suffer irreparable injury, leading to permanent brain damage or death,” thus agreeing that danger is present from the very start with subarachnoid hemorrhages (Barrett). The rapid bleeding outside of the brain then causes a quick rise in the pressure inside of the head. For many patients that have experienced an SAH, they describe getting an agonizing headache known as a “thunderclap headache.” Due to the severity and cause of the headache, some people pass out and may even die promptly. In the book, Navigating the Complexities of Stroke, the author, Dr. Louis Caplan, expresses some other symptoms that may be present with SAH. Double vision, blurred vision, weakness on one side of the body, numbness, vertigo, and trouble with speech are the main symptoms that may help in identifying an SAH. Dr. Caplan declares the previous symptoms as being quite important in recognizing an SAH or other form of stroke as compared to any other brain injury (Caplan). There are also additional symptoms that may happen because of spinal fluid being blocked from flowing to the brain, and this condition is known as hydrocephalus. All of these symptoms are proof of just how dangerous SAH can be as soon as they occur.
Next, during the treatment of a subarachnoid hemorrhage the risk of danger continues to increase. Obviously, the first step for treatment is to stabilize the victim of the SAH. The process of stabilizing the patient is purely dependent on the condition of the individual. Additional oxygen, intravenous fluids, and close monitoring of vital signs are just a few of the things that may be needed to stabilize the patient. Administering Nimodipine, a calcium channel blocker, is also common because...

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