Hemorrhagic Stroke: Symptoms and Causes | Tampa General


A hemorrhagic stroke can trigger severe swelling and place a significant amount of pressure on the brain, which can result in long-term tissue damage if not promptly alleviated. Only about 15% of all strokes are classified as hemorrhagic.  

This type of stroke can occur in two different locations: 

  • If it occurs in the brain itself, it is called an intracerebral hemorrhage. 
  • If it occurs in the space around the brain, it is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Causes

Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by sudden bleeding from a blood vessel inside the brain or in the space around the brain. There are various causes and risk factors associated with this type of stroke, including: 

  • Head injuries 
  • Cerebral aneurysms 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Blood vessel abnormalities, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM) and amyloid angiopathy 
  • Blood or bleeding disorders, such as sickle cell anemia 
  • Liver disease 
  • Brain tumors 
  • Drug abuse 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Symptoms

Although hemorrhagic stroke symptoms vary from person to person, many patients experience a sudden and severe headache accompanied by: 

  • Muscle weakness 
  • Total or limited loss of consciousness 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Changes in vision 
  • Loss of balance or coordination 
  • Inability to move or numbness in an arm or leg 
  • Seizures 
  • Loss of speech or difficulty understanding speech 
  • Confusion or loss of alertness 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Diagnosis 

Diagnosis of a hemorrhagic stroke is based on a thorough medical history and physical exam, and if doctors suspect bleeding inside the skull based on the patient’s symptoms, diagnostic tests can be done including: 

  • MRI 
  • CT scan 
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) 
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) 

Hemorrhagic Stroke Treatment 

Tampa General Hospital is a leading choice for hemorrhagic stroke care. Treatment for a hemorrhagic stroke depends on what caused it, where it's located and the size of the hemorrhage.  

Treatment options include: 

  • Interventional radiology 
  • Neurosurgical procedures (surgical clipping or coil embolization)  
  • Certain medications 

Why Choose Tampa General's Comprehensive Stroke Center?

As one of the only Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Tampa, TGH is prepared to immediately respond to any emergent signs of a stroke with board certified neurologists, advanced neuro-imaging, and complex neurosurgical interventions. Tampa General's 32-bed Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit is one of the largest in the country.

Tampa General Hospital was named one of the top hospitals in the country for stroke care for 2023-24, according to U.S. News & World Report. TGH is also recognized as Honor Role Elite Gold Plus for Stroke Care by the American Heart Association.