A sub-arachnoid haemorrhage is a medical emergency of the first order. Immediate admission to hospital is necessary. Recovery from a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage can take a long time and may not be complete. The degree of recovery depends very much on how big the bleed was, and how quickly the patient was operated on. Untreated, sub-arachnoid haemorrhage is usually lethal; even after operation, in severe cases, there may be permanent brain damage; but a gratifyingly high proportion of patients make an excellent and complete recovery.

Sub-arachnoid haemorrhage leaves scars, both physical and mental. The external scars of the operation are unimportant; operations inside the brain are surprisingly easy to disguise because mostly they are hidden by hair.

The real scars are internal. There may be the after-effects of brain damage -stroke-like symptoms, where there is weakness or paralysis of the hands or feet; impediments in the speech; reduction in concentration; reduced quality of mental functions; and, of course, persistent headaches.

Often the biggest scar is psychological. There is frequently a feeling of terror that the same thing is going to happen again; after all, berry aneurysms are often multiple, and at first any headache (even from flu) is likely to set the patient telephoning the doctor in a panic. It can often take a long time for the patient to recover their confidence alter such a near death experience.

In actual fact, the prognosis for the future is bright. There’s often a slow, but steady return of physical and mental functions, with few set-backs. Second haemorrhages are very rare (though this doesn’t stop the patient feeling frightened, especially when doing anything that requires exertion or straining). In fact, the only thing that needs observation and control is blood pressure; sub-arachnoid haemorrhage tends to occur more frequently in patients with high blood pressure.

The bad news, however, is that persistent headaches may follow the haemorrhage, even after the patient has recovered from the bleed itself. Undoubtedly, some of this is due to anxiety and tension; but it would be amazing if there were no ill-effects after the bashing the brain has received from the massive bleed, the subsequent extra pressure, and the ensuing operation. These headaches are controllable, though, and usually subside with the passage of time.


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Posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 at 1:07 pm and is filed under Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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