Subarachnoid Intracranial Hematoma

A subarachnoid intracranial hematoma is a bleed into the subarachnoid space, between the brain and the thin tissue that covers it. It is most frequently caused by a head injury, although can occur due to other medical conditions.

Symptoms of a subarachnoid intracranial hematoma

Symptoms include a severe headache which is often located at the back of the head. The patient may experience dizziness, confusion, irritability, nausea, and vomiting. They will dislike and avoid bright lights. There will be changes in pulse and breathing rate along with possible seizures or unconsciousness.


Subarachnoid intracranial hematomas are usually caused by a head injury, such as a direct impact to the head from a hard object, a fall or a car accident.

This particular hematoma can also occur due to the rupture of a cerebral aneurysm. These occur in those between the ages of 20 and 60, are slightly more common in women than men and those with high blood pressure or who are regular smokers.


Seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will perform an examination and if a hematoma is suspected, a CT scan will be performed. Other investigations such as an MRI scan or angiography may also be used.

Surgery is usually required with the aim of removing the blood and decrease pressure on the brain. If surgery is following an aneurysm then the aim is to repair an aneurysm and drain the blood. The patient will then be closely monitored for changes in their condition which may indicate further bleeding or brain injury.

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