A brain hemorrhage involves rupture of the cerebral blood vessels. There are 2 types of brain hemorrhage that you should be familiar with – subarachnoid (bleeding between the brain and skull) and intra-cerebral (ruptured blood vessels inside the brain). Disruption in the normal flow of blood to the brain cells can result to cell death within a few minutes. Always bear in mind that the effects of a brain hemorrhage can be shocking.
Increased intracranial pressure
Brain hemorrhage can cause an increase in the pressure within the brain. The brain is accommodated by the cranium which is a rigid capsule that protects it. Take note that intracranial pressure is the pressure within the brain and can affect how the brain is perfused.
The bleeding reduces oxygenation and instigates swelling that increases the intracranial pressure. This increase makes it difficult for enough blood to reach the brain. If the increasing pressure is not controlled, it can be fatal.
Loss of cerebral blood flow
The brain requires a steady flow of blood to bring essential nutrients and oxygen to its cells for optimum functioning. The brain is not capable of storing oxygen or glucose which is required for brain cell metabolism and neuron functioning.
If there is a ruptured cerebral blood vessel, it can lead to leakage of blood into the surrounding tissue instead of reaching the individual cells. The regions of the brain fed by the ruptured blood vessel become ischemic from the lack of oxygen. The death of the cells can lead to neurologic dysfunction.
Vasospasm is also an effect of brain hemorrhage which involves narrowing and constriction of the cerebral blood vessels. Always bear in mind that blood is irritating to the brain tissue and cerebral arteries.
The presence of blood in the brain causes vasospasm of the blood vessels in the area where bleeding occurs. Vasospasm can aggravate cerebral ischemia since not only the brain cells supplied by the ruptured cerebral vessels lack essential nutrients and oxygen but also the surrounding tissues.
Altered neurologic function
The effects of brain hemorrhage on the neurologic function include diminished level of consciousness, severe headache, weakness or loss of motor function and visual disturbances.