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A to Z: Hemorrhage, Intracerebral

Intracerebral hemorrhage (IN-truh-suh-REE-brul HEM-ur-ij) is bleeding inside the brain tissue.

More to Know

Intracerebral hemorrhage happens when a blood vessel in the brain breaks, flooding the brain with blood and damaging brain cells. This can be caused by a traumatic head injury, high blood pressure that leads to damage of the artery walls in the brain, an aneurysm (weakness in an artery wall), diseases affecting blood clotting, drugs, or arteriovenous (AV) malformations (when blood vessels in the brain don't connect properly).

Intracerebral hemorrhage can cause a stroke by exposing brain tissue to blood, increasing pressure on the brain, and disrupting the flow of blood to parts of the brain. Signs of intracerebral hemorrhage include loss of consciousness, headache, vomiting, altered mental status, and paralysis on one side of the body.

Intracerebral hemorrhage usually affects older people and is uncommon in children. Other risk factors include smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and diabetes.

Intracerebral hemorrhage is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment to minimize the risk of death or disability. Treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage usually involves medications to control blood pressure and treat seizures and other symptoms. In some cases, surgery is done to remove blood clots and stop the bleeding.

Keep in Mind

Intracerebral hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition that can cause death or serious disability. Recognizing the signs of intracerebral hemorrhage and seeking immediate medical treatment improves the chances of a positive outcome. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking steps to prevent high blood pressure can all help reduce the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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