What Is a Brain Bleed and What Causes It?
A brain bleed, also known as a brain hemorrhage or intracranial hemorrhage, refers to bleeding in the brain tissue or the space between the brain and skull. This often occurs because some type of event caused a blood vessel in the brain to leak or burst. When this happens, blood can cause compression and damage to the tissues of the brain.
A brain bleed is a serious condition that can cause death if the patient does not receive immediate medical attention. This bleeding occurs internally, making detection difficult for caregivers, but they have the responsibility to assess anyone who sustained a head injury for signs of a brain bleed.
Causes of Brain Bleeds
Many events can cause patients to suffer from a brain bleed, and brain bleeds mostly happen to older adults. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, one out of five falls by adults over the age of 65 results in a serious injury like a head injury, and falls account for most traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
If you are an older adult, especially someone who takes antiplatelets—like aspirin—or anticoagulants, even a mild blow to your head can cause a brain bleed. Situations that can lead to a brain bleed include:
- TBIs and other head injuries
- Extremely high blood pressure
- Brain tumors
- Cerebral aneurysms
- Liver disease
While these injuries do not cause an open wound or obvious damage to the individual, they threaten the life of the patient, particularly if the bleeding is excessive or occurs in certain parts of the brain.
Types of Brain Bleeds and What Causes Them
Medical professionals identify four different types of brain bleeds, including:
Intracerebral hemorrhaging refers to bleeding that happens inside the brain tissue. This type of brain bleed is most often caused by head trauma, hypertension, or arteriovenous malformations (AVM).
Also known as subdural hematoma, this condition occurs when a blood vessel near the surface of the brain bursts, causing blood to build between the brain and the membrane that wraps around the brain. Subdural hemorrhages fall into one of three classifications:
- Acute: the most dangerous type of brain bleed, caused by a head injury and with symptoms appearing almost immediately
- Subacute: a slower brain bleed without noticeable symptoms for days or even weeks after an injury
- Chronic: a highly dangerous and slow brain bleed with symptoms taking weeks or months to show, caused by even a mild bump to the head (such as hitting your head when getting into your car)
With a subarachnoid hemorrhage, the bleeding occurs in the space surrounding the brain, or the subarachnoid space. A head injury, ruptured aneurysm, or AVM may cause it. For someone who is healthy and injury-free, the subarachnoid space is filled with fluid that acts as a cushion, protecting the brain. When blood is released into this space, it increases the pressure on the brain, causing damage.
Epidural hematomas, or hemorrhages, occur when blood accumulates between the membrane that covers the brain and the skull. In most cases, this type of injury occurs when a skull fracture tears a blood vessel.
These four types of brain bleeds can occur in a nursing home if caregivers and employees fail to remain vigilant in practicing preventatives for falling, or fail to properly administer proper care after a fall.
What Causes Brain Bleeds in the Elderly?
Brain bleeds in the elderly may be the result of head trauma, but several other factors may weaken blood vessels in the brain, resulting in brain hemorrhages or microbleeds.
If you suspect a loved one suffers from a brain bleed, please seek medical care for them as soon as possible. The longer the bleed lasts, the more difficult recovery may be. In some cases, brain bleeds can result in loss of consciousness and death.
Understanding Common Causes of Brain Bleeds in the Elderly
A brain bleed is a serious medical condition that can have lifelong or even life-ending consequences. Bleeding of the brain may occur inside the brain, between layers of the brain’s covering, or between the skull and the brain. Brain bleeds require medical treatment, and you should never ignore it.
Brain bleeds in the elderly can result from:
- Head trauma: A fall or blow to the head may cause a brain bleed or brain swelling.
- Elevated blood pressure: High blood pressure can weaken the artery walls, resulting in brain bleeds. This cause is most common with untreated high blood pressure.
- Medication: Certain medications can reduce the blood’s ability to clot or weaken blood vessel walls, resulting in brain bleeds.
- Aneurysm: Caused by weakened artery walls, an aneurysm is a bulge in an artery that can burst, releasing blood into the brain or around the membranes of the brain.
- Brain tumor: Less commonly, overgrowth of tumor cells may cause a brain bleed.
The elderly are particularly susceptible to brain bleeds due to medication, difficulty walking, and medical conditions such as high blood pressure, which can increase the likelihood of a brain bleed.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Bleeds In The Elderly
The signs and symptoms of a brain bleed can vary drastically based on the location of the bleed, the severity of the bleed, and the amount of blood released. The symptoms of a brain bleed may be especially difficult to recognize in an elderly patient who suffers from other medical conditions.
If you see the following symptoms, get medical treatment right away:
- Severe headache that comes out of nowhere
- Seizures from a patient without a medical history of them
- Stroke due to the interruption of blood flow in the brain
- Confusion or agitation
- Difficulty with tasks such as writing or holding a spoon
- Slurred or unusual speech
- Loss of consciousness
Brain bleed symptoms may arise suddenly or present themselves slowly and worsen over time. If you suspect a loved one suffers a brain bleed, seek medical treatment as soon as possible to reduce the chances of permanent disability.
Treatment for Brain Bleeds in the Elderly
The treatment options for a brain bleed vary based on the cause of the brain bleed, where the bleeding occurs, and the medical status of the patient. A doctor will likely order a CT scan or MRI to locate the bleed.
Once testing locates the bleed, a doctor may suggest:
- Cranial surgery to fix the bleed.
- Ventilator to ensure enough oxygen reaches the brain.
- Anticonvulsants to control seizures.
- Diuretics to reduce swelling.
After brain bleed treatment, patients may require weeks or months of care to regain function. Many patients require physical and occupational therapy to relearn how to walk, eat, and complete other daily tasks.
Brain bleeds are a serious medical condition that requires swift treatment. Even when treatment is quick, severe brain bleeds can result in the death of a patient. If your loved one suffered a brain bleed while in a nursing home, you may have questions about their rights.
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What Are the Symptoms of a Slow Brain Bleed?
The symptoms of a slow brain bleed may not appear until days or even weeks after the injury occurs. A person suffering a severe subdural hematoma may quickly lose consciousness and fall into a coma, whereas someone with subacute or chronic subdural hematoma would have to wait to see symptoms.
Symptoms that accompany this type of injury can include:
- Persistent headaches that become worse over time
- Changes in behavior
- Lack of consciousness
Symptoms of a slow brain bleed can vary substantially from one person to the next, and several factors affect the way in which an individual responds to this injury, such as the size of the brain bleed, the individual’s age, and other medical conditions they may be experiencing.
Causes of Subdural Hematoma
Subdural hematoma, or a slow brain bleed, results from a head injury, such as one that a patient may incur during a fall. People who take blood thinners or those who have blood disorders experience increased susceptibility to this type of injury.
Subdural Hematoma Types
A subdural hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel bursts near the surface of the brain. This causes blood to build up between the brain and the membrane that surrounds the brain, increasing pressure on the brain and potentially causing damage.
There are three types of subdural hematomas:
- Acute: This type of brain bleed—the most dangerous kind—usually results from severe head trauma. With an acute subdural hematoma, you experience severe bleeding in the brain that could cause you to lose consciousness or immediately fall into a coma. An acute subdural hematoma usually appears within 72 hours of a traumatic head injury.
- Subacute: This type of brain bleed typically appears within three to seven days after an injury.
- Chronic: A chronic subdural hematoma may take weeks or even months to show symptoms. This type of brain bleed often affects elderly patients, as brain shrinkage has stretched their blood vessels that travel from the skull to the brain, making them more vulnerable to injury. The brain shrinkage also creates more space in the skull, allowing more blood to accumulate before it creates enough pressure for visible symptoms.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Subdural Hemorrhages
Elderly adults have a susceptibility to this type of injury since they have more fragile bodies and often struggle with balance and coordination, creating a greater risk of falling. Even mild head trauma can cause a slow brain bleed.
Caregivers may overlook symptoms in older adults more often, mistaking them for normal signs of aging. In cases of subacute or chronic brain bleeds—in which the symptoms only appear weeks or even months after the injury and worsen gradually over time—the likelihood that a caregiver will initially overlook the symptoms grows even higher.
Other circumstances that increase the likelihood of subdural hemorrhage include:
- Taking aspirin or anticoagulants daily
- Alcohol abuse
- Blood disorders
- Frequent falls
- A history of repeated head injuries
Preventing Subdural Hematomas
A caregiver may prevent subdural hematomas by taking measures to prevent falls and avoid head injuries, particularly among the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of four people over the age of 65 falls each year, and the majority do not tell their doctors.
Falling once also doubles the likelihood that the individual will fall again. Falls among this age group accounts for most traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), so caregivers must take steps to reduce the likelihood of an elderly adult falling.
Some precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of a fall include:
- Keeping patients moving with physical activity
- Removing or repairing tripping hazards, such as loose rugs, loose floorboards and carpeting, and spilled liquids
- Adding non-slip mats to showers and bathtubs
- Ensuring the facility has adequate lighting
- Ensuring the patient has access to assisted devices, such as handrails in hallways, grab bars in showers, a plastic seat in a shower or tub, and a raised toilet seat
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What Are the Chances of Surviving a Brain Bleed?
Many patients who have a brain bleed are able to survive the injury. However, the chances of surviving a brain bleed depend on the location and size of the bleed.
There are four different types of brain bleeds that vary according to the location of the bleeding. According to Medical News Today, they include:
- Intracerebral hemorrhage: This is when there is bleeding within the brain tissue itself.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage: This type of brain bleed occurs when there is bleeding in the space between your brain and the membranes the cover it.
- Subdural hemorrhage: This occurs when a blood vessel bursts near the surface of the brain.
- Epidural hemorrhage: This occurs when bleeding occurs between the brain and skull.
While people can recover from a brain bleed, it is important that they receive treatment as quickly as possible to increase their chances of surviving a brain bleed.
Common Causes of Brain Bleeds
Medical News Today reports that there are a number of circumstances that can lead to a brain bleed, including:
- Head trauma
- Extremely high blood pressure
- Brain tumor
- Liver disease
- Brain artery with a weakened bulge
- Blood vessel anomalies
Brain bleeds are most likely to occur in older adults. Even mild head trauma can cause a brain bleed in an older adult, especially if they are taking an antiplatelet drug like aspirin or an anticoagulant.
Older adults are generally more susceptible to falling as well, and one out of five falls causes a serious injury like a broken bone or head injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also reports that falls are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Symptoms of a Brain Bleed
Medical News Today states that a brain bleed can cause a number of different symptoms, including:
- Weakness, tingling, or even paralysis of the face, leg, or arm, usually to just one side.
- Severe headache.
- Loss of balance or coordination.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Difficulty understanding or
- Slurred speech and difficulty talking.
- Problems with eyesight.
These initial symptoms generally develop as the pressure placed on your brain increases. As more blood fills the space between the brain and skull or the brain, itself, other symptoms may present themselves, including:
A brain bleed is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, because the bleeding occurs inside the brain, or in the space between the brain and skull, it can go undiagnosed, especially if a person’s caregivers are inattentive or negligent. It is important to receive medical attention after hitting your head, particularly if you:
- Have a persistent headache.
- Lose consciousness.
- Experience any of the initial symptoms listed above, such as loss of balance, blurred vision, or unusual weakness.
Treatment for Brain Bleeds
Medical News Today reports that depending on the severity of a brain bleed, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure on the brain. If the patient experienced a burst cerebral aneurysm, the surgeon may perform a procedure called a craniotomy. During this procedure, the physician removes part of the skull to clip the artery.
Other treatments can be provided to control symptoms like headaches and seizures, such as anti-epileptic or anti-anxiety drugs. Patients may also need rehabilitation, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy, to adjust to life after a brain bleed.
Preventing Brain Bleeds
There are steps that people can take to reduce the likelihood of a traumatic brain injury or other cerebrovascular events. Older adults can take precautions to reduce the likelihood of falling, including visiting a doctor to check their eyesight and ensuring their environment is safe and free from things that they could trip over. They should also have bars next to the toilet and inside the tub as well as plenty of lighting.
Elderly adults should also be on a healthy diet to improve brain and heart health and stay active as much as possible to lower the risk of a stroke.
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How Long Can You Live With a Brain Bleed?
Most people with a brain bleed, clinically referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke, survive the condition; however, they might require long-term therapy to regain the ability to walk, talk, and complete other everyday tasks.
According to Harvard Health, 30% to 60% of patients live with a brain bleed. However, additional circumstances and the cause of the brain bleed can affect their survival. For example, premature infants or elderly adults with other medical problems may not survive. According to a study published in the Journal of Stroke, patients suffering from an intracerebral hemorrhage, a severe type of stroke, have a fatality rate of 40% at one month and 54% at one year.
In elderly adults, brain bleeds can result in a decline in mental capabilities, coma, and even death. Brain hemorrhages require immediate medical care to diagnose and treat.
Causes of Brain Bleeds
Brain bleeding disrupts the functions of the brain. Brain bleeds can happen in the brain, in the membranes around the brain, or between the membrane and the skull. The increase in fluid and swelling can create more pressure on the brain, resulting in additional damage.
Most brain bleeds cause symptoms that can be noticed, except microbleeds. As reported in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, microbleeds may go undetected due to other medical issues, such as dementia, which makes symptoms difficult to detect.
Common causes of a brain hemorrhage may include:
- Blows to the head.
- High blood pressure.
- Liver disease.
- Brain tumor.
Brain bleeding occurs more often in patients who suffer from risk factors such as increased alcohol consumption, smoking, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and the use of certain medications. If you suspect in the slightest that your loved one has a brain bleed, seek medical help immediately.
Understanding the Symptoms of a Brain Hemorrhage
The symptoms of a brain bleed can vary greatly from patient to patient. The severity and location of the bleed can also affect its signs and symptoms. According to Cleveland Clinic, typical symptoms of a brain bleed include:
- Unexpected numbness or tingling sensations on one side.
- A sense of paralysis in an arm or leg.
- Intense headache.
- Difficulty with balance and walking.
- Difficulty with fine motor skills in the face, like focusing eyesight.
- Difficulty communicating.
- Falling in and out of sleep.
If you witness such symptoms and suspect your loved one has bleeding in the brain, call 911 and seek medical care immediately.
Treatment Options for a Brain Bleed
The diagnosis of a brain bleed usually starts with a general evaluation. Then a CT scan of the brain verifies the existence of a brain bleed, Finally, an MRI locates the bleed. Depending on the circumstances, a doctor may also order an EKG, blood studies, or a spinal tap.
Treatment options after a brain bleed will be different according to the patient’s health, the location of the bleed, and whether the bleeding stops on its own. According to Cleveland Clinic, immediate treatment options for brain bleeds include:
- Surgery to remove a portion of the skull and allow the swelling brain to expand without causing damage.
- Surgery to clip an aneurysm.
- Medication to control anxiety or blood pressure.
- Seizure medication.
- Pain killers.
- Delivery of nutrients and fluids as necessary.
Long term treatment options include physical, occupational, and speech therapy to recover as much function as possible. A doctor may also suggest lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of another brain bleed.
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An umbrella term that refers to any type of head injury, Healthline defines head trauma as any injury to the brain, skull, or scalp. The gravity of head injuries varies from minor to life-threatening, and an individual suffering from an injury to the head may require emergency medical care.
Head trauma affects people of all ages. Causes of injuries to the head include:
- Slips and falls
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Physical abuse, such as blows to the head or violent shaking
An article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society notes that people aged 75 and older account for the highest rates of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that lead to hospitalization and death. Changes in the physiology of the brain as adults age and the common prescription of blood thinners to elderly patients play a role in their susceptibility to head trauma, particularly when combined with accidents or abuse.
Types of Head Trauma
As a general term, head trauma describes a range of conditions. The medical field deems any injury to the head a form of head trauma, but not all injuries should raise concern. From small scrapes to TBIs, types of injuries vary in nature and severity. Healthline outlines some of the major forms of head trauma.
In most cases, the skull proves efficient in preventing serious injury. Nearly everyone will experience scratches, bumps, and bruises on their heads at one point in time or another, and these minor afflictions typically heal on their own and rarely lead to any complications. However, they may affect older adults more severely.
Hematomas and Hemorrhages
When an individual suffers a substantial amount of force to the head, such as in a physical assault or a vehicle collision, the impact may cause active bleeding from the veins or arteries in the brain, known as a hemorrhage, or a collection of blood in a localized area, which doctors refer to as a hematoma. Both conditions carry a high risk of life-threatening complications and require immediate medical assistance. Doctors often recommend emergency surgery to save the patient’s life.
A concussion occurs when a sudden impact causes the brain to hit the walls of the skull. Most of the time, concussions resolve on their own and do not cause lasting damage. However, concussions in elderly people and repeated occurrences may present a higher risk of permanent brain damage.
Despite its thick, resilient composition, the skull can break in extreme circumstances. Incidents that cause skull fractures typically involve strong blows to the head, which the skull cannot absorb. Because of its proximity to the brain, skull fractures often result in brain damage, as well.
Recognizing Signs of Head Trauma in Loved Ones
Parents and those with family members in nursing homes should take special care to observe their loved ones for signs of head trauma. If you notice bruises, bumps, or other marks on your loved one’s head that seem suspicious, do not hesitate to talk to them about their injuries and how they happened. If they cannot communicate with you or show no visible signs of trauma, other symptoms may indicate head trauma. Mayo Clinic lists signs of head injury that require emergency care. They may include:
- Severe headache
- Confusion or weakness
- Problems with speech or vision
- Discoloration that looks like bruising under the eyes or behind the ears
- Fluid leaking from the nose or ears
- One pupil larger than the other
- Trouble breathing or loss of consciousness
Medical Care for Head Trauma
Medical professionals cannot always determine the extent of the injury by simply looking at the location of the injury. While doctors can observe open injuries, such as lacerations to the scalp, closed or internal injuries often require imaging to confirm their type, diagnosis, and location. Healthline discusses common procedures for testing and treating head injuries.
While your doctor may tentatively diagnose you after asking you questions and performing basic evaluations, they may proceed with testing to confirm the condition and help them decide the best course of action for treatment. The most common types of tests used in the diagnosis of brain injuries include CT scans and MRIs.
The course of treatment for head trauma varies greatly based on the type, severity, and location of the injury. Treatments may include:
- Surgery to remove intracranial pressure (ICP) and drain bleeding
- Medication to reduce swelling and prevent seizures
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
While patients with minor head trauma rarely suffer complications, those with severe injuries have a higher risk of death, cognitive impairment, and physical disability. Medical professionals urge those who suffered head trauma or suspect injury in their loved one seek emergency medical care.
According to Harvard Health, a subdural hemorrhage (SDH) occurs when a blood vessel at the surface of the brain bursts, causing blood to pool directly underneath the outermost layer of the meninges, or the layers of tissue that protect the brain. The meninges consists of:
- Pia mater: Innermost layer covering the brain
- Arachnoid: Middle layer
- Dura mater: Outermost layer attached to the skull
A subdural hemorrhage occurs between the arachnoid and dura mater of the meninges. Also called a subdural hematoma, it can place pressure on the brain, leading to complications or death.
Causes of Subdural Hemorrhage
Patients typically suffer a subdural hemorrhage as the result of sudden head trauma, such as impact from a car accident or physical abuse. Those who take blood thinners or have seizures may also develop an SDH from minor head trauma. An SDH can occur in two ways.
- Acute SDH: Bleeding occurs quickly and often leads to rapid loss of consciousness or death
- Chronic SDH: Bleeding occurs over an extended period, slowing the progression of symptoms
As people age, their blood vessels become more fragile and susceptible to injury, so the elderly may experience subdural bleeding more easily than younger people. Doctors often diagnose older people with chronic hemorrhages, as their sensitivity to impact makes them especially prone to brain injuries.
Signs and Symptoms of Subdural Hemorrhage
Because of the rapid bleeding associated with acute SDH, symptoms typically occur immediately and progress swiftly. The patient may experience the sudden onset of a severe headache, serious vision changes, and seizures before losing consciousness.
Individuals with chronic SDH, especially the elderly and family members who care for them, may find identifying the signs of the condition more challenging. Due to their slowly developing nature, medical providers may mistake them for early signs of dementia. Cedars Sinai lists other symptoms of SDH, which may include:
- Trouble with balance or mobility
- Nausea or vomiting
- Intermittent weakness or numbness
- Trouble speaking
- Vision problems
- Headache and dizziness
Testing for Subdural Hemorrhage
To diagnose an SDH, a medical provider will ask the patient questions about the cause of the bleeding and their symptoms and may ask them to perform basic tasks, such as touching their nose. If they suspect an SDH or other type of brain injury, they will request specific testing to confirm the diagnosis and the severity of the condition. Tests may include blood draws and imaging tests, such as a CT, MRI, or angiography. These testing methods can help doctors establish the cause, extent, and location of the bleeding and determine the appropriate course of treatment for the patient.
How Doctors Treat Subdural Hemorrhage
Treatment of an SDH varies greatly based on type, location, and severity. Typically, doctors recommend surgery to drain fluid and alleviate compression of the brain. According to Healthline, doctors usually perform one of two surgeries.
An acute SDH may require a craniotomy, in which surgeons remove part of the skull to drain the hemorrhage, to save the patient’s life. Patients with chronic SDH may instead undergo a burr hole procedure, in which surgeons remove the hemorrhage through a much smaller opening in the skull. After surgery, doctors may prescribe medications to prevent further bleeding and minimize swelling.
Prognosis for Subdural Hemorrhage
While those with a chronic SDH may experience better odds of survival, both types carry potentially life-threatening risks. Cleveland Clinic explains that prognosis varies based on age, the immediacy of care, and the severity of the head injury.
Acute SDH cases account for the highest level of morbidity. Approximately half of all patients who experience an acute SDH survive, particularly younger individuals. Of those, many suffer permanent brain injuries.
While patients with chronic SDH have the best odds of survival, the condition may cause lasting brain damage or death if not treated immediately. Older people who recover from chronic SDH have a greater chance of developing the condition again in the future.
Mayo Clinic defines subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAH) as bleeding in the space between the brain and the membranes above it. Known as the subarachnoid space, this area sits directly below the arachnoid mater and dura mater, which attach to the skull. Essentially, a SAH refers to bleeding that occurs in the space between the brain and the membranes attached to the skull.
How Subarachnoid Hemorrhages Occur
A SAH often results from the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain caused by head trauma, but it may also occur sporadically or in conjunction with another medical condition. According to Healthline, causes of SAH may include:
- Brain aneurysms
- Bleeding from blood vessel defects known as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
- The use of blood thinners
- Trauma to the brain as the result of a head injury
Elderly people carry a high risk for SAH and may suffer the injury as the result of a fall or abuse. An article from the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Psychiatry notes that incidences of this condition in people over age 75 continue to increase.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Symptoms
Healthline explains that SAH symptoms often come in suddenly and encompass a range of effects on the body. Those affected by SAH typically experience a sudden, splitting headache, particularly at the base of the skull, which can lead to loss of consciousness if left untreated. Other signs of SAH may include:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Body numbness
- Confusion or irritability
- Vision trouble
- Nausea or vomiting
Dangers of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
Many health complications can arise from SAH. While doctors can treat certain complications, others may persist chronically or result in death. SAH may cause:
- Cerebral vasospasm
Medical Care for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
If you suspect that you or a loved one experienced a SAH, you should seek emergency medical treatment immediately, as early detection and treatment may help prevent complications.
While a doctor may presume a diagnosis of SAH based on symptoms, particularly if the patient experiences a severe headache and vision problems, they will typically order other tests to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the SAH. This may include imaging tests such as:
- Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan to check for the presence of bleeding
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to view precise images of the brain
- Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound to measure blood flow in the arteries of the brain
- Cerebral angiography X-ray to check for blood flow in the brain
Depending on the results, the medical provider may recommend repeated imaging tests or a lumbar puncture, in which they remove a small amount of spinal fluid and test it for the presence of blood.
Treatment options for SAH depend on the cause and extent of the condition. Doctors may recommend one or more of the following:
- Drainage of fluid
- Surgery to stop and prevent further bleeding
- Prescription and intravenous medications
- Bed rest
- Artificial ventilation
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Cases in Nursing Homes
A nursing home resident may suffer a SAH as the result of an accident, such as a slip, trip, or fall. However, instances of nursing home abuse and neglect continue to increase, as do nursing home abuse lawsuits. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), nearly one-third of all U.S. nursing homes received citations for federal violations, and over half of nursing home staff questioned in a study admitted to the physical, mental, or emotional mistreatment of residents.
Because it often occurs behind closed doors, family members may find it challenging to observe or prove the abuse of a loved one in a nursing home. If your loved one can communicate with you, be sure to ask them regularly how they feel about their care and encourage them to be open and honest about any concerns. Warning signs of abuse include:
- Emotional or physical changes
- Avoidant or aggressive behavior
- Dehydration or malnourishment
- Signs of inadequate care or staffing, such as unresponsive nurses, rushed care, unanswered calls for help, or noticeable employee turnover
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), over 70,000 cases of intracerebral hemorrhage occur every year in the United States. Approximately half of those suffering from the condition are 65 and older. The risk of suffering from intracerebral hemorrhage increases with age. Intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke that can be difficult to treat as well as deadly.
An Overview of Intracerebral Hemorrhage
Intracerebral hemorrhage happens when a diseased blood vessel in the brain bursts and blood leaks out into the brain. If the amount of leaking blood increases fast, pressure can build up in the brain potentially leading to unconsciousness and death. According to the Stroke Center, high blood pressure can cause an intracerebral hemorrhage. Bleeding on the brain can also occur due to trauma, infections, tumors, blood clotting problems, and abnormal blood vessels.
Risk factors for intracerebral hemorrhage can include age, being male, high blood pressure, and the use of alcohol. Some common medical problems, such as hypertension and diabetes, can also increase the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage. Since there is an increase of intracerebral hemorrhage with age, management of high blood pressure in the older population, such as nursing home residents, can help prevent the condition.
There are some other precautions you can take to lower the risk of suffering from bleeding of the brain, for example treating diabetes appropriately, managing and treating heart disease, and eating a healthy diet.
Nursing Home Health
Nursing home residents can have a variety of health conditions that need careful managing with prescription medicines. If, for example, high blood pressure is unrecognized in a nursing home resident, or the staff fail to adjust medications when required, nursing home residents may be at increased risk of medical complications, including intracerebral hemorrhage.
According to the American Diabetes Association, not only do many nursing home residents suffer from diabetes, a substantial proportion of residents may suffer from undetected diabetes. Untreated diabetes can also be one of the risk factors for intracerebral hemorrhage.
Elderly persons suffering from any cardiovascular diseases may be on blood thinner medication. It is crucial that the patient receives the correct dose of blood thinner exactly as directed by a doctor. Taking too little can mean that the medication will not work, and too much can cause external as well as internal bleeding, including intracerebral hemorrhages.
Sometimes, head trauma can also cause bleeding in the brain. Head traumas can happen in a nursing home context due to falls and any resulting injuries to the head.
If your loved one suffered from intracerebral hemorrhage in a nursing home, and staff failed to monitor medical conditions and medications appropriately, the nursing home acted negligently. Nursing homes must ensure that their patients receive the right amount of medication at the time when they should receive it. Not doing so can have deadly consequences for elderly nursing home residents.
Connecting with a nursing home lawyer about your case can be helpful, as you could be entitled to compensation.
The Symptoms of Intracerebral Hemorrhages
Symptoms from a stroke caused by an intracerebral hemorrhage can be different for everyone but may be present before and immediately after the stroke and can include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache
- Problems with speech
- Numbness and paralysis of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
- Vision problems
- Nausea and vomiting
When you observe someone with these symptoms, it is important to act immediately by calling the emergency services or driving the person to the emergency room.
Immediate medical care is crucial for patient survival. Treatment typically involves trying to control the bleeding in the brain and reducing any pressure on the brain caused by the bleeding. If the stroke is serious, emergency surgery can potentially address the bleeding and mend a broken blood vessel.
Unfortunately, hemorrhagic stroke is often deadly. The NCBI states that hemorrhagic stroke has a survival rate of only 26.7% over a period of five years. Long-term survival rates are more favorable for younger patients without any other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
The Dangers for Nursing Home Residents
Elderly nursing home residents typically suffer from medical conditions that can contribute to developing intracerebral hemorrhages. These conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular problems, all need careful managing with appropriate medications. If a nursing home is short-staffed or the staff are not adequately trained, many needs of the elderly residents can go unmet with potentially catastrophic consequences.
The symptoms of hemorrhagic stroke may also go undetected in a nursing home, especially when there is not enough staff to monitor residents around the clock. Untrained staff may think that some of the symptoms of any bleeding on the brain are harmless, or call for medical help when it is too late.
MedlinePlus, which provides information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, describes an epidural hemorrhage (EDH) as bleeding that occurs between the skull and the outermost covering of the brain, known as the dura mater. Medical professionals often call EDHs epidural hematomas, as both terms refer to bleeding or a collection of blood. The individual must seek treatment immediately, as an EDH can quickly become life-threatening.
Trauma Leading to Epidural Hemorrhage
EDHs are present most commonly in children, as the dura mater does not attach closely to the skull until after age two. When an adult suffers an EDH, it typically results from a severe head injury. The brain and its blood vessels shrink and become thinner and more fragile over time, making the elderly also more susceptible to EDHs and other brain injuries than younger adults. According to Healthline, individuals at a high risk for EDH include:
- Older adults and the elderly
- Those who take blood thinning medications
- Those with trouble balancing
- Those who experienced head trauma
A combination of any of these factors can compound a person’s risk of EDH. For example, an older person on blood thinners who experiences nursing home abuse presents several risk factors, making an EDH more likely. The Consumer Voice lists examples of physical nursing home abuse, which may include hitting, shoving, and rough handling during the provision of care, each of which can contribute to EDHs or other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Noticing Signs of Epidural Hemorrhage in Your Loved One
MedlinePlus notes that individuals suffering from an EDH most often experience a brief loss of consciousness, after which they become alert and then lose consciousness again afterward. While this describes the typical hallmarks of EDH, those affected may not experience this pattern. Other symptoms can occur immediately to hours after the injury occurs and may include:
- Confusion and dizziness
- Fatigue, weakness, or lethargy
- One enlarged pupil
- Severe headache
- Nausea or vomiting
EDH requires immediate, life-saving medical care. If left untreated, the EDH will likely cause death.
Medical Testing to Diagnose Epidural Hemorrhage
When a patient arrives for emergency care with a suspected EDH, the doctor may perform neurological tests to determine the current level of brain and nervous system functioning. They will also take note of symptoms to check for signs of increased intracranial pressure (ICP). If they suspect ICP, the patient will likely undergo an imaging test such as a CT scan or an MRI to find the size and location of the hemorrhage. Depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, they may require emergency surgery to relieve ICP.
Treatment and Recovery
In most cases, the primary treatment goals for EDH focus on saving the patient’s life. According to Healthline, surgeons typically perform a craniotomy, in which they open part of the skull to alleviate ICP and drain the bleeding. If the EDH appears smaller in size and does not place excessive pressure on the brain, doctors may instead choose aspiration, which allows them to remove the hematoma through a much smaller opening in the skull. Doctors may also prescribe medications to reduce swelling in the brain and prevent seizures after recovery.
EDH carries a high risk of death. Depending on the severity of the condition and the immediacy of treatment, patients may survive. However, they often face extensive recovery times and complications such as permanent brain damage and physical disability. Rehabilitative care can help patients who survive with lasting effects manage or minimize the difficulties they face because of their EDH.
Support for Individuals with Epidural Hemorrhage
Individuals recovering from EDH, especially older adults and the elderly, require specialized care to facilitate the improvement of their condition, increase their quality of life, and prevent the recurrence of EDH and other TBIs. Medical providers, nursing home staff, family, and friends can help patients achieve their recovery goals.
Follow-Up Appointments and Daily Care
Once the patient returns to their home or nursing facility, doctors will likely schedule follow-up appointments with the patient to monitor their progress. Even if they feel better, the patient should attend these appointments. They may also need to follow specific care routines, such as bed rest, limited activity, medications, and physical therapy.
Blood Vessel Anomalies
Blood vessel anomalies, also known as vascular abnormalities or malformations, are unusual growths that affect the cardiovascular and even the lymphatic system. Many of these growths appear at birth, but there are other cases where they show up much later in life.
A vascular anomaly’s effect on you can range from uncomfortable, painful, to outright fatal. If a nursing home staff finds that a senior resident has blood vessel anomalies, they should have them treated promptly to matters from worsening. Ignoring the resident’s health makes the caretaker liable in a nursing home lawsuit.
Types of Anomalies
Various vascular abnormalities can pose more risks to your health than others. They can affect just one or a combination of your veins, arteries, capillaries, and lymph vessels. Some known blood vessel anomalies include:
Aneurysms happen when an artery swells up and produces a considerable bulge. They affect different organs, including the heart and brain. This condition becomes dangerous when the artery bursts, as it will cause internal bleeding. If it happens in the heart or the brain, there is a good chance that the loss of blood causes a stroke. Worse, it could kill the person. Aneurysms can develop in multiple parts of your body, according to Mayo Clinic.
This condition exclusively targets either the brain or the spinal cord. It forms small bundles of blood vessels that are so delicate that they can easily rupture and leak tiny amounts of blood into the brain. If left alone, the small leak can spread and result in permanent brain damage.
Also known as an AVM, this anomaly creates a jumbled knot of blood vessels that connect the veins and arteries. It causes circulation problems, as arteries transport oxygen-rich blood while veins carry the opposite. The surrounding blood vessels will not get sufficient oxygen, weakening it further and potentially creating ruptures.
Causes and Risk Factors
Scientists have yet to determine what exactly causes blood vessel anomalies to form, as they can occur even in seemingly healthy individuals. Some abnormalities are congenital, while others may happen by pure chance. You may also inherit certain types through genetics; if you have a family history of aneurysms, you are more likely to have one, too.
Other factors may increase your chances of getting vascular anomalies as well. Hypertensive people are at more risk of developing them, as high blood pressure strains the vessels and makes them more likely to rupture. Drinkers and smokers are in danger because of having this problem as well. Alcohol and nicotine can raise your blood pressure and make your arteries narrower.
If someone had vascular anomalies in the past, it is probable that they will have one again. The nursing home must know if their elder resident has had one before so that the caretaker can monitor their condition more carefully.
Signs of a Problem
The problem with vascular abnormalities is that they usually remain undetected until they rupture and cause a hemorrhage. Internal bleeding can affect blood circulation to the point that your organs do not receive oxygen anymore, slowly killing the cells. The blood can also flood into other areas of your body, making it swell. You might see discolorations on the skin where the rupture occurred.
Brain aneurysms are often more noticeable than other anomalies because the blood leaking into the brain will make your head hurt. You also lose oxygen to your brain, which affects other body functions. If this happens to your senior loved one, they might feel lightheaded, extremely weak, and have difficulty talking or even thinking. In more severe cases, the aneurysm could give them seizures, a stroke, or put them in a coma.
Caretakers have to watch closely for any of these symptoms, especially if the resident is unaware of their circumstance.
Preventing and Treating Blood Vessel Anomalies
It is hard to prevent an anomaly from rupturing if you do not know that you have one. However, you can still reduce the risk by regulating your blood pressure to lessen the strain on the vessels. That means keeping away from alcohol and cigarettes.
If the blood vessels have already burst, the next best option is to stop the bleeding as soon as possible to keep it from damaging your organs any further. Doctors may use lasers or medications to close the rupture or create clots to stem the blood flow.
The liver is a vital organ responsible for many important functions, like cleaning the blood, aiding in digestion, and fighting infections. Several things can affect the health of your liver, and there are more than 4 million Americans living with some form of liver disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There are several types of liver disease, and liver disease has many causes, including infections, inherited conditions, and lifestyle choices.
- Genetics. Some genetic disorders are known to cause liver disease. Hemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency are genetic liver diseases that can cause liver damage, according to Mayo Clinic.
- Infection. Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types of liver infection. Hepatitis causes inflammation that can affect healthy liver function.
- Cancer. Liver cancer and growths in the liver negatively impact the health of the liver.
- Immune disease. Autoimmune disease, where your immune system attacks an otherwise healthy part of the body, can harm your liver.
- Lifestyle choices. Alcohol abuse is a known cause of liver disease. Other risk factors for liver disease include obesity, exposure to some chemicals and toxins, type 2 diabetes, and the use of some prescription medications.
- Non Alcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLC). This is the most common form of liver disease in the United States. According to the Mayo Clinic, it affects about 25 percent of the population. It is unclear why some adults store too much fat in the liver, while others do not.
Sometimes, people with liver disease experience no signs or symptoms, especially in the early stages. The American Liver Foundation (ALF) states inflammation is the first step in the progression of liver disease, and this may cause your liver to become enlarged or tender. Often, patients feel no discomfort and are unaware their liver is inflamed. If liver disease is diagnosed and treated early, inflammation may go away. Untreated inflammation can lead to fibrosis.
Fibrosis and Cirrhosis
Fibrosis is when liver inflammation causes scarring, and excess scar tissue starts to replace healthy liver tissue. Again, if diagnosed and treated early, fibrosis can be reversed, and your liver can heal with time. If left untreated, fibrosis can lead to a more serious condition called cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis, according to the ALF, cannot be reversed. During this stage of liver disease, hard scar tissue begins to replace healthy liver tissue. Liver damage can be stopped or slowed with treatment, but healthy liver tissue cannot heal. Scar tissue cannot perform the same function as healthy liver tissue, and can prevent blood from flowing through your liver.
Signs of Liver Disease
Some general signs of liver disease include bruising easily, loss of appetite, yellowing (jaundicing) of the skin and/or eyes, abdominal pain and swelling, unusually dark urine, or swelling in the feet and ankles. If you or a loved one show signs of liver disease, consult a doctor.
In some patients, cirrhosis may be the first sign of liver disease. If left untreated, cirrhosis can lead to end stage liver disease (ESLD), liver cancer, and liver failure. One serious but lesser known complication of liver disease is an increased risk for intracerebral brain hemorrhaging.
Liver Disease and Bleeding of the Brain
Intracerebral hemorrhaging is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood vessel inside the brain leaks or ruptures, causing blood to build up inside of the brain tissue. If untreated, intracerebral hemorrhaging can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke, a potentially fatal condition that can cause permanent impairment and brain damage.
According to the American Stroke Association, hemorrhagic strokes account for about 13 percent of all strokes. A study in the journal BMC Gastroenterology found patients with cirrhosis have a, “clearly increased risk,” of experiencing an intracerebral hemorrhage. Intracerebral hemorrhages can be treated with surgery if medical attention is sought immediately. However, the prognosis for patients who suffer a hemorrhagic stroke is poor. The same study found that less than 50 of those who suffer a stroke were alive within 12 months.
If you or someone you love exhibits the following signs of intracerebral bleeding or hemorrhagic stroke, call 911 and seek treatment immediately:
- Severe and worsening headache
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
- Impaired motor function
- Vision impairment
A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cell growth. There are many different types of brain tumors, each with their own symptoms, treatments, and associated risk factors. According to Mayo Clinic, tumors can be either cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). Primary brain tumors begin in the brain, while secondary, or metastatic, tumors are caused when cancer in another part of the body spreads to the brain.
Though all brain tumors are different, the American Cancer Society lists the following general symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in behavior or personality
The location of a brain tumor can impact its symptoms. For example, tumors near the part of the brain responsible for language may cause problems with speech or difficulty understanding others. A tumor near the area of the brain responsible for coordination may present as difficulty walking, problems swallowing, or trouble with fine motor skills.
Any signs of a brain tumor should be taken seriously. If you believe you or someone you love is exhibiting signs and symptoms of a brain tumor, you should consult a doctor to seek a diagnosis and develop a course of treatment.
About Brain Tumors and Brain Hemorrhaging
Bleeding of the brain is a serious complication of some brain tumors. Bleeding of the brain, or a brain hemorrhage, can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke, which happens when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain. This bleeding causes pressure inside the brain, which can kill healthy brain tissue surrounding the hemorrhage.
According to the American Stroke Association, hemorrhagic strokes account for about 13 percent of all strokes, and can occur both inside the brain (intracerebral) and between the brain and its surrounding tissue (subarachnoid). Strokes caused by brain tumors are associated with intracerebral hemorrhaging.
Glioblastomas and metastatic brain tumors are the likeliest type of tumor to cause a hemorrhagic stroke. Mayo Clinic describes glioblastomas as a type of tumor originating in the brain or spinal column. Glioblastomas are more common in older adults.
Metastatic tumors are caused by other types of cancer that travel through the body. Though all types of cancer can spread to the brain, melanoma, breast cancer, lung, kidney, and colon cancer more commonly result in metastatic brain tumors.
Treatment and Outcomes
Intracranial bleeding can be treated, typically with surgery to remove the brain tumor and brain bleed. However, this type of treatment is significantly less successful if a patient already suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.
A study in the journal Cancer Research and Treatment found that the average survival rate of patients who receive treatment for intracranial bleeding following a stroke is 11.7 months from the time of surgery.
According to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, intracerebral brain tumors often are malignant, and this is true for glioblastomas and metastatic tumors. The outcomes for brain bleeds caused by these tumors is not favorable. However, the study found that some benign tumors are associated with bleeding of the brain. These include pituitary adenoma, meningioma and hemangioblastoma, and have better survival rates if the hemorrhaging is discovered early.
Sometimes, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is misdiagnosed as the cause of hemorrhagic stroke. A computed tomography (CT) scan can confirm whether a tumor is present and is the cause of bleeding of the brain.
Clearly, early detection of intracranial bleeding is critical. Signs and symptoms of bleeding of the brain include vomiting, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and slurred speech, according to Mayo Clinic. As the brain bleed worsens, drowsiness, seizures, and unconsciousness may occur. If you believe you or someone around you is experiencing an intracranial hemorrhage, it is important to seek help immediately. Bleeding of the brain is a serious condition, and hemorrhagic strokes can be fatal.
Extremely High Blood Pressure
Extremely high blood pressure is a serious condition that often goes undetected, earning it the nickname, “the silent killer.” People can have high blood pressure for years without showing any signs or symptoms of illness, but all the while, the condition could be causing serious harm in the body.
Blood pressure is, literally, the pressure your blood puts on your arteries as it flows through the body. Extremely high blood pressure, or hypertension, is dangerous because it can damage your arteries, which can lead to a host of health problems. According to Mayo Clinic, healthy arteries should be flexible and strong, but hypertension can cause arteries to weaken and narrow, which can limit blood flow throughout the body.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) cautions that high blood pressure is common in older adults and can cause life-threatening conditions, including kidney failure, heart disease, and brain hemorrhaging.
About Brain Hemorrhages
Brain hemorrhage is a generic term for bleeding on the brain, but there is more than one type of brain hemorrhage. Though terms like brain hemorrhage, stroke, and aneurysm are often used interchangeably, there is a difference.
- Brain aneurysms occur when weakened arteries and increased blood pressure cause a blood vessel in the brain to enlarge and “bulge.” Small aneurysms often cause no symptoms and can go undetected, but larger bulges can press on nerves and brain tissue. Mayo Clinic lists a dilated pupil, pain behind one eye, changes in vision, or numbness on one side of the face as signs of an unruptured aneurysm. Brain aneurysms become dangerous when they rupture or leak.
- Hemorrhagic strokes happen when blood vessels burst because of extremely high blood pressure, or when an aneurysm ruptures or leaks. Both these events cause bleeding either around the brain or in the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 13 percent of all strokes.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhages occur when a ruptured or leaking aneurysm or burst artery causes bleeding in the space around the brain, according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. The first sign of this type of brain bleed is a severe headache. If untreated, subarachnoid hemorrhages can cause loss of consciousness, irregular heartbeat, respiratory arrest, and fatality. Brain damage from this type of hemorrhage can lead to permanent physical impairment and speech problems.
- Intracerebral hemorrhages happen when bleeding occurs inside the brain. This type of hemorrhage causes blood to build up inside the brain, cutting off the surrounding arteries and killing off brain tissue. Like subarachnoid hemorrhages, intracerebral hemorrhages can be fatal or result in brain damage, including problems with movement, speech, and vision.
Symptoms of Aneurysms and Strokes
Extremely high blood pressure can cause both aneurysms and stroke. Mayo Clinic cites a sudden and severe headache as the most significant sign of a ruptured or leaking aneurysm. If you experience this type of headache, you should contact a doctor immediately. Other signs include nausea and vomiting, blurred or double vision, neck stiffness, light sensitivity, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.
Signs of a stroke include sudden numbness in the face, arms, or legs, trouble speaking, trouble understanding what others are saying, difficulty walking, headache, and vision problems. If you believe you or someone you know is having a stroke, seek medical attention immediately, even if the symptoms do not last long or seem to go away. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater risk of permanent physical paralysis and/or brain damage.
Managing High Blood Pressure
It is important to monitor blood pressure, especially as you age. In some cases, high blood pressure can be lowered with lifestyle changes, like healthier eating, regular exercise, and weight loss. When this is not enough, a doctor will prescribe medication to treat hypertension.
If you take blood pressure medication, it is important that your doctor know of anything else you take, even vitamins and over-the-counter drugs, as some medications can increase blood pressure or reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
As with all medications, it is important to take blood pressure medications in the correct dose and not to skip a dose. Blood pressure medication also should be taken at the same time each day.
If you are diagnosed with extremely high blood pressure, your treatment is ongoing, and you will continue to work with your doctor to monitor and evaluate your hypertension. If you or a loved one has high blood pressure, it is important to always be aware of any signs of aneurysm or stroke.
Can a Brain Bleed Heal Itself?
In some cases, treatment is not required to stop bleeding and the brain bleed will heal itself. If a substantial amount of bleeding occurs, however, a person may need surgery to reduce pressure on the brain and repair the damage. People suffering a brain bleed should seek evaluation by a medical professional to reduce the likelihood of their condition becoming fatal.
Types of Brain Bleeds
Medical professionals categorize brain bleeds according to the location where they occur. Four different types of brain hemorrhages include:
Most often, some kind of blow to the head, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), or hypertension causes an intracerebral hemorrhage in which bleeding occurs inside the brain tissue. Bleeding can occur close to the surface or deep within the brain. In some cases, it can prevent normal cerebrospinal circulation, resulting in lethargy, confusion, or even loss of consciousness.
Subarachnoid hemorrhages frequently result from head trauma, AVM, or a ruptured aneurysm and create bleeding in the space that surrounds the brain. This space is filled with fluid and acts as a cushion to protect the brain against injuries. The increase in the amount of fluid in the subarachnoid space caused by the bleeding increases pressure on the brain, potentially becoming life-threatening and/or damaging to the brain.
Medical professionals also referred to this type of brain bleed as a subdural hematoma. It occurs when a blood vessel bursts near the brain’s surface, causing blood to increase between the brain and its membrane.
Epidural hemorrhage usually results from a skull fracture that tears a blood vessel, allowing for blood to accumulate between the membrane that covers the brain and the skull.
Causes of Brain Hemorrhages
Several different events may cause a brain bleed, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other injuries to the head
- Brain tumors
- Liver disease
- Cerebral aneurysms
Elderly adults live with a greater risk of experiencing a brain bleed because they suffer from these conditions more often than the average adult. Their lack of stability, coupled with their fragility, also makes them more susceptible to a brain bleed if they fall and hit their heads.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for adults over 65, one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a head injury or broken bones. A falling accident is also the most common cause of a TBI among this age group.
Nursing home caregivers have a responsibility to practice diligence when helping elderly patients get in and out of bed or wheelchairs. They must also provide residents with proper lighting in hallways and keep floors free from any clutter that may cause a resident to trip and fall.
Symptoms of Bleeding in the Brain
Bleeding in the brain can escalate quickly and become life-threatening, depending on the location and extent of bleeding. Brain bleeds may not be physically visible, so caregivers may easily overlook many of the symptoms, especially since a nursing home employee may associate brain hemorrhage symptoms with normal signs of aging in the elderly. Initial brain bleed symptoms that patients exhibit may include:
- Severe headaches that increase in severity over time
- Unequal pupil size
- Slurred speech
- Vision problems
- Weakness, tingling, or paralysis on one side of the body, such as one side of the face, one leg, or one arm
For elderly patients, especially those who are taking an antiplatelet—like aspirin—or an anticoagulant, even a mild blow to the head can cause a bleeding in the brain. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, you may be able to hold the nursing home accountable.
Call Us If Your Loved One Is Suffering from Brain Bleed
If your loved one was injured or passed away as a result of a brain bleed which was caused by a preventable injury, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free, no-risk review of your incident, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336.
Our team works on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket when you work with us. We take our payment only if we secure a financial award on your behalf.