Reasons for Brain Haemorrhage

My father died from a brain haemorrhage back in 1968, and he’s in exalted, if unlucky company. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, actor Richard Burton and film director Anthony Minghella are just some of the famous names who have succumbed to this stealthy assassin.

A brain haemorrhage is, literally, bleeding within the brain. It’s often fatal, and many people have no warning symptoms. My father certainly didn’t. He woke up at 7.25am with what he referred to as a ‘bad headache.’ My mother went to get him some aspirin, but before she could bring them to him, he was dead. Now singer Bret Michaels has suffered a brain haemorrhage and the condition is making news.

Untreated high blood pressure can cause brain haemhorrage. High blood pressure is another often symptomless but potentially serious condition. Avoid this risk of brain haemorrhage by checking your blood pressure regularly. If you don’t want to go to the doctor’s to do this, buy a blood pressure monitor. To ensure its accuracy, book in for a blood pressure test at your surgery, then check it on your monitor when you get home.

The most frequent cause of brain haemorrhage in people under 50 is trauma to the head, resulting from injury. Obviously, this cause is not preventable, as nobody knows when they may fall victim to an accident or a deliberate attack. What we can do is ask the medical team if they have checked for signs of brain haemorrhage. Most likely they will have, but it’s better to be thought an idiot for asking the obvious than to lose a loved one because you were too coy to enquire.

Weakness or abnormality in the blood vessels surrounding the brain can also lead to a brain haemorrhage. There could be several small, unnoticed bleeds before the big one that does the damage, and the condition may even have been present from birth. Undetected brain tumours can also result in brain haemorrhage, and people with anaemia or haemophilia are at more risk of the condition.

Anyone with liver disease is more susceptible to any kind of bleeding, and this may occur in the brain, causing a brain haemorrhage. The actor Richard Burton was a legendary drinker, and smokers and drug users are also at greater risk of brain haemorrhage than people whose habits are more moderate.

A brain haemorrhage is frightening, both for the person who suffers it and their next of kin. It’s a serious condition, but it’s not always fatal, so don’t assume that because someone close has been diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage they are going to die. I know of several people who have made full recoveries and now live a normal life with no other health issues.