A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a relatively rare condition, occurring in about 1 in 10,000 people. Bleeding occurs in the subarachnoid space in the brain.
What causes it?
There are a number of causes of subarachnoid haemorrhage. Usually they are caused by a ‘berry’ aneurysm. A person may have a ‘berry’ aneurysm without even knowing so until one day it bursts usually as a result of straining, coughing or lifting.
Other causes are: trauma, warfarin treatment or tumours.
What are the symptoms?
- Sudden, excruciating headache
- Severe headaches over a number of weeks
- Nausea or vomiting
How is it diagnosed and why is it missed?
There are many cases involving missed subarachnoid haemorrhages. Usually, a CT scan is used to diagnose bleeding in the brain. Unfortunately, on occasions a CT scan is not performed in time or at all resulting in serious complications, including death.
Rarely, a CT scan may have been performed but the bleeding may be missed. Often this is because the initial bleeding was a ‘warning bleed’ leading to a re-bleed. A lumbar puncture may also be performed.
What is the treatment?
Neurosurgery will be performed to repair the bleed. However, on occasions subarachnoid haemorrhage surgery is performed negligently resulting in a further bleed.
Missed subarachnoid haemorrhages can have serious consequences and often result in medical negligence litigation.
Assessing Your Situation:
A panel of experts assess your situation in the following areas:
- Nurses and Physiotherapists with regard to current rehabilitation care and future care.
- Occupation Therapists in assessing aids, equipment and extensions/alterations of homes and transportation.
- Vocational assessors: in assessing employment and educational needs.
- Doctors and Consultants for future medical costs.
- Actuaries to assist with the calculation of present and future loss of earnings for the clients/dependent children or spouses.
- Consultants in assessing the severity of the impact of the injury and mobility into the future.
- Calculation of compensation by Irish Courts
Compensation is awarded by the Irish Courts under the following headings:
- General damages for pain and suffering
- Special damages which cover financial under the following headings;
- cost of past and future medical treatment,
- cost of past and future loss of earnings;
- cost of aids, equipment and extensions/alterations to homes & transport.
Important Time Frames
An individual who has been injured as a result of a medical procedure has 2 years from the date of the injury or 2 years from the date of knowledge in which to take a case and issue proceedings. In the case of those under 18 years of age or those with intellectual impairment time limits are extended by legislation. If in any doubt about whether your case is within the statute of limitations it is important that you seek legal advice.