This section will summarize the basic aspects of the clinical prevention, diagnosis and management of brain bleeds. As can be seen under the Types of Brain Bleeds section of this website, there are many different types and causes of brain bleeds. For simplicity, the initial focus will be on the most commonly seen intraparenchymal hemorrhages (IPH), ie bleeding into the brain tissue.
These IPHs also called hemorrhagic strokes constitute about one fifth of all strokes, the remainder being ischemic strokes (related to blockage of a brain vessel). It is important to understand the different mechanisms of
- ischemic strokes, related to blockage of a vessel with a blood clot, resulting in decreased blood flow to part(s) of brain. These parts of the brain tissue can be lost because of the lack of oxygen and nutrients
- hemorrhagic strokes, related to bursting of a blood vessel from weakened wall, that result in blood going out of the vessel to compress and damage surrounding structures as well as dangerously increasing the pressure in the brain
As a rule of thumb:
- ischemic strokes are about 4 times more common than hemorrhagic strokes
- hemorrhagic strokes are about 4 times more deadly and disabling than ischemic strokes