Medical Management of a Brain Bleed - Oren Zarif - Brain Bleed
Medical management of a brain bleed includes the administration of IV fluids with tightly controlled glucose and sodium concentrations to reduce swelling and prevent further edema. Anti-epileptic drugs may also be prescribed to reduce seizures and ease inflammation. Physical therapy and assistance with self-care may be necessary while the patient recovers. Treatment for brain bleeds can differ depending on the extent of the hemorrhage and its location.
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Some people experience lethargy or other symptoms that suggest a bleed in the brain. Left untreated, brain bleeds can lead to respiratory arrest and even death. This is why prompt medical attention is necessary for patients with brain bleed symptoms. Prompt treatment will limit the damage and increase the chance of recovery. Although the immediate effects of a brain bleed may seem drastic, many patients can recover completely. The treatment options are limited by the severity and location of the bleeding and its impact on the brain.
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A brain bleed may have long-term effects on the quality of life. It may affect movement, memory, and speech. It is important to seek medical attention immediately and undergo the recommended rehabilitation. The results of treatment will vary, but the patient will usually make significant progress. In most cases, the condition will be mild or will heal on its own. However, some ongoing complications may occur such as speech problems, paralysis, and changes in cognitive functions.
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Medical tests will be required to confirm a diagnosis of a brain bleed. X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to find a bleed. In some cases, a CT scan is used to locate the bleeding. A spinal tap may also be required to diagnose an aneurysm. Other tests used to assess the location and extent of a brain bleed include blood studies and an electroencephalogram.
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A brain bleed may be caused by head trauma, a stroke, or a tumor. Imaging tests will help healthcare providers confirm the diagnosis. Treatment depends on the type and size of the bleed. A large subdural hematoma may require urgent surgery. If a brain tumor is the cause, a part of the skull may need to be removed. Rehabilitation may also be necessary to teach the patient new skills. While a brain bleed may be self-limiting, it is always a serious medical emergency.
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After a brain bleed, the blood vessels in the brain may weaken, causing them to leak and burst. Fluid may also collect in the brain after the rupture, causing symptoms like headaches, vomiting, and blurred vision. Survivors of a brain bleed are at a high risk of developing complications. About 66% of patients who suffer from a brain bleed will experience neurological problems. The recovery process can take up to a year.
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If a baby is born prematurely, the risk of a brain bleed is higher. Because of this, doctors will try to avoid preterm birth and other complications during delivery. If the baby is smaller than average, or if the mother is vaginal, a doctor will likely recommend a c-section. The baby should be monitored for ten hours to determine whether it is a brain bleed. However, the condition of the baby may cause swelling in the scalp, so a vacuum delivery should be avoided if possible.
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The main concern after a brain bleed is the control of intracranial pressure (ICP) levels. Controlling ICP is essential for the safety of the brain and patient, which is often compromised by a large bleed. To do this, a doctor may insert an ICP monitor into one of the ventricles. The device allows a patient to breath while the CSF drains away. In addition, drugs may be given to induce a coma to help control ICP levels.
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Several medical tests are recommended for patients suffering from a brain bleed. A CT scan is a noninvasive X-ray and angiograms can be a reliable way to detect bleeding in the brain. CT angiography can detect a bleeding in the brain and detect underlying medical problems. In some cases, a bleed can spread deep within the brain and become a hematoma. In the latter case, fluid collected in the brain may block the normal circulation of CSF, causing hydrocephalus.