This type of stroke happens when a blood
vessel leaks or ruptures in or near the
brain. The ruptured vessel stops blood
supply for the areas past the leak. Then
blood floods the nearby tissues causing
pressure and function changes. It is
referred to as a hemorrhagic (hem-o-RAJ-
Could I have had a hemorrhagic
You may need to have a series of tests
before your doctor can tell you whether
you had a hemorrhagic stroke. People
who have these types of strokes tend to be
younger. The symptoms appear very
quickly and may progress, leading to coma. Symptoms that appear during this type of stroke are
a very severe headache, nausea, and vomiting. Unlike other kinds of stroke, there may be no
other symptoms before the stroke. It can occur anytime of day, and often during exertion.
Not all of these strokes are the same.
ξ Subarachnoid hemorrhage: This occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the brain
ruptures and bleeds into the space between the brain and skull. The most common cause
is a ruptured aneurysm caused by high blood pressure. Other causes are: rupture of an
AVM (arteriovenous malformation), bleeding from an injury due to a blow to the head, or
venous or capillary problems.
ξ Intracerebral hemorrhage: This is bleeding into the tissue deep within the brain. High
blood pressure is often the cause of this type of stroke. Injury and rupture due to problem
vessels can also be the cause.
How are these strokes treated?
ξ Surgery. At times, a neurosurgeon will put in a drain, repair a vessel, remove a clot, or
repair or revise an AVM.
ξ Hospital care. Since bleeding into the brain can be life threatening, hospital care may
occur in an Intensive Care Unit.
ξ Drugs. Drugs can be used to lower blood pressure. Other drugs can help to reduce
swelling and pressure to the brain that may follow a stroke.
ξ Rehabilitation. There is a focus on independence. We provide devices and services
which increase the number of things a person is able to do for himself.
ξ Prevention. Doing all you can to prevent another stroke is a big part of treatment. See
Health Facts for You # 5736 (Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk of Stroke).
To learn more
ξ Talk to your doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider. Call the American Heart
Association’s Stroke connection. Dial 1-800-553-6321
ξ Talk to your family. If someone in your family has had a stroke, you and other family
members may be at higher risk. It is useful to make changes now to lower the risk.
American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2005 Update. Dallas, Texas: American Heart
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor.
This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because
each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team
when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 8/2016 University of
Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6298