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Subarachnoid Haemorrhages: A Medical Emergency

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately. If doctors fail to do so, and a patient's condition deteriorates as a direct result, there could be grounds for a medical negligence claim. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you need to contact a solicitor as soon as possible.

Why are subarachnoid haemorrhages a medical emergency?

A subarachnoid haemorrhage will usually occur when a brain aneurysm bursts. A brain aneurysm is a bulge in the blood vessel, caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. Not all aneurysms will rupture, and may not even cause any symptoms. However, if it does burst, blood will leak onto the brain this is known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

When a subarachnoid haemorrhage happens, blood will spread across the surface of the brain causing significant tissue damage. The reduction in blood supply will also result in oxygen starvation, causing further harm. Within a very short space of time the injury to the brain will be severe, potentially leading to a series of complications including epilepsy, mental dysfunction and even death.

It is therefore absolutely vital that the bleeding is stopped as soon as possible, as this is the only way to prevent such complications from happening. No time should be wasted in making a diagnosis and providing treatment to repair the blood vessel, as this will greatly increase a patient's chance of making a full recovery. If there is a delay, the amount of brain damage could be extensive, and there may be little that can be done to improve a patient's condition.

Are doctors to blame if there is a delay?

Someone who presents the symptoms of a subarachnoid haemorrhage must go straight to their nearest hospital for medical assistance. Sometimes people will fail to do so, believing that they are only suffering from a migraine or some other minor condition. On the flip side, some will sustain irreparable damage as soon as the aneurysm ruptures, while around one in 10 will suffer sudden death.

However, in the overwhelming majority of cases the outlook will be entirely in the hands of medical professionals. Indeed, most people who suddenly suffer a sudden severe headache, vomiting and a loss of consciousness will be admitted to hospital and undergo further tests. If there is a failure to recognise the signs of a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a failure to carry out investigative tests, or a failure to appreciate the need for urgent treatment, doctors will be to blame.

What action should you take next?

If you or your loved one has suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage and doctors failed to treat it as a medical emergency, you could be entitled to compensation. To find out more, you need to talk to a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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