Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claims

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A subarachnoid haemorrhage involves bleeding between the brain and the thin membrane that covers the brain. This space is known as the subarachnoid space. It is a very serious type of brain bleed that is caused by trauma to the head or a broken blood vessel in a person with a bleeding disorder.

Subarachnoid haemorrhages due to aneurisms happen in about 10-15 individuals out of 10,000. The most common individual to get such a haemorrhage is aged between 20 and 60. Women tend to get a subarachnoid haemorrhage from an aneurism more commonly than men.

Brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors deal with applications for awards of damages for personal injury on the basis of medical negligence following either miss-diagnosis or failed surgical intervention both of which can cause a worsening of the initial problem.

Causes of a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage

A subarachnoid haemorrhage can be caused by having a head injury, having an arteriovenous malformation or cerebral aneurism, a bleeding disorder or from an unknown underlying cause. People who use blood thinners are more likely to get a subarachnoid haemorrhage than those who are not. Among head injuries, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Risk factors include having an aneurism, having a condition known as fibromuscular dysplasia or other connective tissue disease, smoking, having polycystic kidney disease or high blood pressure. In some cases, there can be a family history of aneurisms that contribute to subarachnoid haemorrhages.

Symptoms of Subarachnoid Haemorrhage

A sudden, severe headache is one of the most common symptoms of a subarachnoid haemorrhage. It unlike any type of headache pain and you may feel a popping sensation or snapping sensation due to rupture of the artery. There is often a sudden loss of consciousness or extreme lethargy. There can be irritability or changes in mood and personality. There can be nausea, vomiting and problems with light bothering the eyes (photophobia). Seizures are common as is a stiff neck. Double vision can be another finding.

Doctors often note a difference in papillary size, drooping of the eyelids, seizures and stiffness of the back or arching of the back. These are all signs of increased intracranial pressure of sudden onset.

Brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors often deal with cases where a patient in the early stages of a brain haemorrhage presents at hospital suffering from severe headache to be told to go home and take analgaesics. Within a few hours the patient is unconscious, often with little chance of full recovery which may have taken place with early surgical intervention. This scenario may be determined to be an issue of medical negligence leading to an award of damages for pain and suffering and financial losses.


A physical examination often shows a stiff neck because there is blood in the subarachnoid space. There may be a focal neurological deficit or decreased nervous system activity (coma). One pupil is often much bigger than the other. As for medical tests, a CT exam of the head is important to do. Blood shows up as bright on the X-ray film so that the abnormal blood will be visible. One can also see compression of the brain tissue as a result of the bleed. Small bleeds may not show up initially, leaving the doctor to do a spinal tap to look for blood in the subarachnoid space. In some cases a CT scan with angiography and the use of contrast dye will show up a small subarachnoid bleed. Cerebral angiography is a slightly better test because it shows the exact area of bleeding. A newer technique involves using transcranial Doppler ultrasound to detect blood flow and areas of blood vessel spasm. An MRI or magnetic resonance angiography can be done to find the subarachnoid haemorrhage and to see how much pressure is on the brain.

Failure to diagnose and treat may be an issue of medical negligence whereby brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors can issue proceedings to claim damages for personal injury and loss.

Treatment of Subarachnoid Haemorrhage

Surgery is often recommended to save the life of the individual with a subarachnoid haemorrhage. If the haemorrhage is related to a traumatic injury, surgery is performed to remove large collections of blood and to relieve excess pressure on the brain. If the bleed is related to an aneurism, the aneurism must be repaired or removed. Doctors perform a craniotomy and clip the aneurism so it has no blood supply to do any further damage.

There also needs to be significant supportive treatment including intubation, treatment to lower the blood pressure, treatment to decrease seizures and mannitol, which decreases the amount of pressure within the brain. Painkillers and anti-anxiety medication are used to keep the patient comfortable and calm.

Inadequate surgical treatment may be an issue of medical negligence whereby brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors can issue proceedings to claim damages for personal injury and loss.


The patient can fully recover if they have prompt treatment and if the bleed is small and doesn’t push too much on the brain. In cases of larger subarachnoid haemorrhages, the patient can suffer from permanent neurological deficit or death.

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors deal with legal action for medical negligence using the no win no fee scheme. If you would like free legal advice with no further obligation just call the helpline, email our offices or use the contact form.

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