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 Now If You Suspect Elder Abuse or Neglect in a Nursing Home
If your loved one experienced a severe or fatal brain bleed that you believe could have been prevented with proper care in their nursing home facility, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information and a free, no-risk review of your incident. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so we will not be paid unless you receive financial awards for your loved one’s injuries.