Intracranial hemorrhage is the bleeding that tends to occur within the skull and the bleeding can occur either outside the brain matter or else within the brain. Being probably the most complex organ in the body, the brain can react in different presentations when it comes to intracranial bleeding. These could be the result of many changes that can take place in such instances. Some of these changes would be,
* Increased intracranial pressure
* Cell death due to absent blood supply
* Local pressure effects by the expanding hematoma
* Inflammatory reactions following an intracranial hemorrhage
Thus, the signs and symptoms of this condition could occur as soon as the insult takes place or else it can be buildup gradually within few hours to even few days. Thus, at the onset of the problem, patients might show the following symptoms.
* Thunder clap headache or sudden onset acute severe headache, most likely to be seen in subarachnoid hemorrhages.
* Sudden onset loss of consciousness
* Blurring of vision and at times visual loss
* Difficulty in articulating or speaking
* Weakness in part of the body or in a region of the body
* Memory loss
* Difficulty in swallowing
There can be several signs which can be seen in intracranial hemorrhages as well. These can be,
* Unequal pupils in size
* Pupils not reacting to the light as usual demonstrated using a torch test
* Muscle weakness and sensory loss
* Poor coordination
* Abnormal gait or inability to walk
With time, the pressure effects can take place within the skull and unless the bleeding is arrested and the haematoma evacuated, the patient’s life could be in danger with the increased intracranial pressure. Thus, some of the signs and symptoms that can be expected of a patient suffering from intracranial hemorrhage apart from the ones which occur at the onset would be:
* Altered levels of consciousness
* Persistent nausea and vomiting with headache
* Convulsions or in other words ‘fits’
When the intracranial pressure increases further more, the vital regions of the patients brain could get affected and can lead to breathing difficulties and respiratory or cardiac arrest which can lead to fatal outcomes.
Therefore, unless the intracranial haemorrhage is diagnosed early and necessary steps are taken to avoid pressure buildup as well as damage to the surrounding tissues, these patients can end up as bedridden patients and sometimes could go on to a vegetative state in which the brain function is seized with other vital organs intact.