Stroke, which is also referred to as a ‘cerebrovascular accident (CVA)’, affects 795,000 people every year. Out of these, 15% people are affected by a hemorrhagic stroke. This article provides information on the causes, treatment, and recovery of these strokes.
A stroke is a condition, wherein the brain partially or completely stops functioning. This could lead to either paralysis (i.e. restricted routine functions) or death. One of the major causes of this condition is the reduction of blood supply to the brain. If the medical treatment is not provided quick enough, then it could be life-threatening. There are two types of CVA: Ischemic and Hemorrhagic. The former occurs when the arteries to the brain are narrowed/blocked, while the latter occurs when the blood vessels in the brain burst open.
In medical terms, hemorrhage means ‘internal bleeding’. The rupturing of the blood vessels in the brain, results in blood accumulation and subsequently in dysfunction of the other cells of the brain. Brain hemorrhage could be due to a number of reasons, related to the blood vessels of the brain. The uncontrolled blood pressure and weak spots in the blood vessels of the brain are the two main reasons. This type of stroke is divided into two types called subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: The arteries near the brain surface start bleeding and the blood spills and fills the space between the skull and brain surface. One of the most common symptoms of this bleeding would be sudden and severe headache.
Intracerebral Hemorrhage: The blood vessels burst and damage the cells surrounding the ruptured part. This type of stroke is mainly caused due to high blood pressure. Due to aging and uncontrolled blood pressure, the arteries tend to become brittle and they may crack, thereby leading to ruptured blood vessels.
Since this is a medical emergency, quick treatment needs to be provided to the person. The patient may need to stay in the hospital or in the intensive care unit for a few days. The treatment would vary as per the severity of the CVA. The treatment options include quick measures to save life, drug therapy to stop bleeding, and relieve the swelling of the tissues that surround the leak or the underlying cause (for example: high blood pressure). Irregular breathing may also be observed in such cases. At times, surgery may also be needed, to save the life of the person. The treatment is aimed at helping the person recover the majority of his/her functions and prevent future CVA.
There is no specific recovery time for such a stroke, as it depends on the severity and the complications that arise out of it. Some people recover within a few days, while the others may take months. However, the first few months are crucial (as the progress in the recovery is determined), and the recovery is faster in this duration, while it may eventually slow down. Rehabilitation starts immediately after the person gains consciousness and is stable.
The aforementioned information suggests that this type of stroke can be a dangerous condition, and if immediate medical care is not provided, it can become life-threatening. There is a high possibility of survival and recovery over time; however, it may not be possible to restore all the normal functioning, in all cases. Though people recover most of the physical and mental functions, symptoms such as aphasia, paralysis, weakness, or no sensation, may reflect in any part of the body.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.