When bleeding occurs in the space between the brain and the extremely fine tissues that cover the brain, a subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs. This area between two of the three membranes that surround the brain is known as the subarachnoid space.
The bleeding that occurs in a subarachnoid hemorrhage:
- May occur spontaneously, or
- May result from a from a head injury, or,
- May result from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.
It is crucial to note that a subarachnoid hemorrhage is a medical emergency that requires immediate care. Lack of care, or inadequate care, places the patient at considerable risk of brain damage and possible death.
Symptoms of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
The most obvious, immediate and compelling symptom is an intense, severe, pulsating headache, with sudden onset, often accompanied by a stiff neck. In some cases, patients describe the pain as intense as a blow to the head. Other symptoms may include:
- Nausea, dizziness, vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Delirium and/or confusion
- Partial or complete loss of consciousness
- In some cases, seizures
- Spike in blood pressure
- Intraocular hemorrhage, pressure in the eyes, drooping eyelids, difficulty or inability to raise the eyelid and other visual symptoms
- Other symptoms - vary from patient to patient; the above are a few examples
Diagnosing Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
When the patient presents with symptoms described above, a thorough examination is mandatory. This includes, but certainly is not limited to:
- Complete background history
- Vital signs, complete blood count, cardiac enzymes, arterial blood gas determination
- Neurological exam – mental state, motor skills, gait exam
- CT scan without contrast
- MRA - Magnetic resonance angiography
- Lumbar puncture – is still required after negative CT scan
- Xanthochromia – spectrophotometric testing is best
- Any and all diagnostic tests and evaluative measures until successful diagnosis
Did a Medical Professional or Hospital Fail to Diagnose or Misdiagnose Your Subarachnoid Hemorrhage?
Medical professionals, hospitals and medical facilities have a duty to adhere to specific protocols and standards of care. These measures are designed to ensure patient safety and minimize harm. Medical negligence – or medical malpractice – may occur in various circumstances, including;
- Failure to diagnose – can result in severe injury or death
- Improper diagnosis – improper diagnosis can also result in harm or death
- Treatment and surgical errors – this encompasses a wide variety of medical errors
- Medication negligence – failure to prescribe, incorrect medication, overmedication, many others
- Medical errors by physicians, nurses, technicians, anesthesiologists, surgeons, pharmacists and all others who treat or are involved with the patient
- Other – discuss your particular situation with your Michels & Lew Attorney
Pursuing Compensation for Your Injuries
Individuals who were harmed by the negligence of medical professionals, hospitals or other medical facilities may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Compensation may include:
- Economic and noneconomic damages
- Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium
- Past and future medical expenses, treatment, rehabilitation, therapy and other care
- Past and future lost income and wages
- Other aspects, to be discussed with your attorney
Michels & Lew, California Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Firm
If you experienced harm or injury as a result of the negligence of a medical professional, hospital or medical center, it is your legal right to pursue compensation. Michels & Lew represents injured victims and the families of deceased victims in personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases.
You are invited to contact Michels & Lew for a complimentary, no-obligation case review in which you can discuss your case in detail with our medical director and medical malpractice attorneys. It is important for you to understand that there are absolutely no legal fees unless your case is favorably resolved. Contact us by calling 310-444-1200.