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What is a cerebral hemorrhage?

Most strokes occur when the flow of blood within the brain is blocked, causing death of brain tissue (ischemia). A cerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke known as a hemorrhagic stroke. It occurs when a defective artery in the brain bursts, flooding the surrounding tissue with blood. There are two main types of hemorrhagic strokes:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage: Bleeding within the brain
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage: Bleeding between the inner and outer layers of the tissue covering the brain


The symptoms differ for the two types of hemorrhagic stokes.

Intracerebral hemorrhage symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Sudden and severe headache
  • Total or limited loss of consciousness
  • Weakness or numb feeling in the face, leg or arm on one side of the body

Subarachnoid hemorrhage symptoms:

  • Inability to tolerate light
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff feeling in the neck

How common is it?

The percentage of strokes caused by hemorrhage is about 20 percent.

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