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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
An intracranial hematoma is a collection of blood inside your skull. The blood leaks from a tear or rupture in a vein or artery, such as after a hemorrhagic stroke. The collected blood puts pressure on the brain. Serious medical problems can develop, such as seizures or a coma. An intracranial hematoma is a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate medical care.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone else call if:
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
- You have a seizure.
- You have new problems with balance or movement.
Call your doctor or neurologist if:
- You are sleepier or are harder to wake than usual.
- You have problems thinking.
- You have blurred or double vision.
- Your behavior or personality has changed.
- You have repeated or forceful vomiting or you cannot keep liquids down.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- Your symptoms are getting worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Anticonvulsants may be given to prevent and control seizures.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Warning signs of a stroke:
The word F.A.S.T. can help you remember and recognize warning signs of a stroke.
- F = Face: One side of the face droops.
- A = Arms: One arm starts to drop when both arms are raised.
- S = Speech: Speech is slurred or sounds different than usual.
- T = Time: A person who is having a stroke needs to be seen immediately. A stroke is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment. Some medicines and treatments work best if given within a few hours of a stroke.
Follow up with your doctor or neurologist within 2 days:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage or prevent another intracranial hematoma:
Healthcare providers will help you create goals for your recovery. The following lifestyle changes can help lower your risk for a stroke that can lead to another hematoma:
- Manage health conditions. A condition such as diabetes can increase your risk for a stroke. Control your blood sugar level if you have hyperglycemia or diabetes. Take your prescribed medicines and check your blood sugar level as directed.
- Check your blood pressure as directed. High blood pressure can increase your risk for a stroke. Follow your healthcare provider's directions for controlling your blood pressure.
- Limit alcohol. Large amounts of alcohol can lead to an intracerebral hematoma or a stroke. Alcohol may also raise your blood pressure or thin your blood. Blood thinning can cause a hemorrhagic stroke.
- Do not use nicotine products or illegal drugs. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause blood vessel damage. Nicotine and illegal drugs both increase your risk for a stroke. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke or use drugs and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
- Take blood thinners exactly as directed. Blood thinners increase your risk for an intracerebral hematoma. Your healthcare provider may make changes to your blood thinner if it caused your hematoma. Always follow directions so you do not take too much of this medicine.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Choose foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. Eat foods that are high in potassium, such as potatoes and bananas. A nutritionist can help you create healthy meal plans.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him or her to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight. He or she can help you create small goals if you have a lot of weight to lose.
- Exercise as directed. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and blood sugar levels. Healthcare providers will help you create exercise goals. They can also help you make a plan to reach your goals. For example, you can break exercise into 10 minute periods, 3 times in a day. Find an exercise that you enjoy. This will make it easier for you to reach your exercise goals.
- Manage stress. Stress can raise your blood pressure. Find new ways to relax, such as deep breathing or listening to music.
For support and more information:
- National Stroke Association
9707 E. Easter Lane
Centennial , CO 80112
Phone: 1- 800 - 787-6537
Web Address: http://www.stroke.org
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