What are the Different Types of Intracranial Hemorrhages?

Intracranial hemorrhages or brain bleeds may occur in varying locations of the brain, resulting in health complications throughout life. While an intracranial hemorrhage can occur naturally, it may be the result of medical negligence during childbirth or another trauma resulting from a personal injury. The extent of these injuries may not be well known until a child fails to meet developmental milestones or as a trauma victim struggles to regain or display skills that were once accomplishable.

Determining the type of intracranial hemorrhage and finding help to mitigate the damage can feel overwhelming and frightening, particularly when medical negligence is the cause of these birth injuries. Recognizing the extent of a personal injury resulting from a trauma can take time, causing an injury victim to miss out on beneficial compensation when reaching a claims settlement for damages feels forced. Gaining a supportive, knowledgeable perspective on managing the damages resulting from an intracranial hemorrhage can provide the information to move forward after a Portland traumatic brain injury lawsuit.

How Intracranial Hemorrhages Differ

There are four broad terms used to identify an intracranial hemorrhage. These hemorrhages vary according to:

  • Etiology: The cause of the intracranial hemorrhage
  • Findings: What information is discovered as a result of any testing
  • Prognosis: The future outlook for an individual diagnosed with an intracranial hemorrhage
  • Outcome: Results or measurable effect of treatment

Bleeding occurs either between the skull and the exterior of the brain’s tissue or in the brain tissue. The following hemorrhages occur between the skull and the outside of the brain’s tissue.

Epidural Hemorrhage

Epidural hemorrhages can occur in the arteries or veins in the head. Skull fractures are present in approximately 75% of these hemorrhages, with possible bleeding in the epidural space caused by damage to the middle meningeal artery. However, damage to any artery can cause an epidural hemorrhage. These hemorrhages occur when blood collects between the skull and the outermost covering of the brain, known as the dura mater

Skull fractures may also lead to venous epidural hemorrhage or hematoma. Bleeding from the veins will fill the epidural space. Pediatric patients may suffer particularly from these types of hemorrhages. Epidural hemorrhages may impact anyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury due to:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Medical malpractice
  • Pregnancy
  • Acts of violence
  • Sports injuries

Symptoms of Epidural Hemorrhage

A typical pattern of symptoms may occur following an injury leading to an epidural hemorrhage or hematoma. However, some injury victims do not experience this pattern, so any traumatic brain injury should be taken seriously. Individuals may lose consciousness initially after an incident, followed by a period of alertness. After becoming alert, an individual will typically lose consciousness again and experience a decline in brain function. Symptoms may include:

  • Enlarged pupil in one eye
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness in part of the body which differs from the side of the body experiencing the enlarged pupil

Subdural Hemorrhage

Blood collecting between the dura, or brain’s covering, and the brain’s surface is defined as a subdural hemorrhage. These hemorrhages are often the result of severe head injuries and are known to be the most deadly head injuries. Pressure from the blood filling the brain area and causing compression to the brain’s tissue can cause brain injury and become fatal.

Minor head injuries can also lead to this type of brain bleeding, and it is most common in geriatric populations who suffer from atrophied veins, which damage more easily. When slow bleeding occurs, this type of subdural hematoma can take days or weeks to be noticed and detected. Males more commonly suffer from subdural hemorrhages at a rate of two to one.

Symptoms of Subdural Hemorrhage

Acute symptoms may appear following a subdural hematoma. However, slow-growing hemorrhages may result in delayed symptoms, including:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Balancing and walking challenges
  • Seizures
  • Vision impairment
  • Sleepiness
  • Numbness or weakness that appears and then goes away

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Subarachnoid hemorrhages occur from bleeding in the area between the brain’s surrounding membrane, known as the subarachnoid space, and the brain. It often leads to what is described as a thunderclap or sudden headache, resulting in the worst headache ever experienced by an individual. Cerebral aneurysm can lead to a subarachnoid hemorrhage. It is also the result of head trauma.

These hemorrhages are responsible for approximately 5% of strokes and are more frequent in females. Symptoms other than severe headache may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble with vision
  • Stiff neck
  • Brief loss of consciousness

Failure to treat a subarachnoid hemorrhage can result in permanent brain damage or death.

Hemorrhages Occurring Within the Brain

Hemorrhages occurring in the brain’s tissue are classified into two types:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhages: This bleeding occurs in the brainstem, cerebellum, and lobes of the brain comprising the brain’s tissue.
  • Intraventricular hemorrhages: Bleeding occurs in the cavities or ventricles of the brain, which are responsible for making cerebrospinal fluid and protecting the brain and spinal cord.

Intraparenchymal Hemorrhage

Intraparenchymal hemorrhage occurs within the brain’s tissue and is identified as bleeding into the brain’s parenchyma, which may result in a hemorrhage. Health challenges such as high blood pressure can cause this type of bleeding, but it may also result from trauma. Intraparenchymal hemorrhages result in the highest mortality rates. Ten to 20% of all strokes result from intraparenchymal hemorrhage.

Symptoms of Intraparenchymal Hemorrhage

Like other types of brain bleeding, the symptoms of intraparenchymal include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The inability to focus
  • Vertigo
  • Slurring of speech
  • Weakness
  • Changes in sensation

Treatment and Management of Intracranial Hemorrhage

Managing and treating a brain bleed is dependent on its location and severity. Treatments may include:

  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Intravenous nutrients and fluids
  • Medications
  • Surgeries including decompression, craniectomy, or craniotomy

Side effects may result from the type of treatment and how invasive treatment becomes. Receiving medical care as soon as possible may play a role in reducing symptoms due to treatment.

Discuss financial compensation for intracranial hemorrhage with experienced Portland medical malpractice attorneys if damages result from negligence or a birth injury. Healing and receiving the appropriate medical care for these injuries may be directly related to your ability to cover these costs.