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.
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.