Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

The term subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) refers to extravasation of the blood between the pial and arachnoid membranes into the subarachnoid space. It occurs in a variety of clinical contexts, with head trauma most common. However, the common usage of the word SAH refers to nontraumatic (or spontaneous) hemorrhage, which typically occurs when a ruptured cerebral aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is placed. The subarachnoid space is the area where the cerebrospinal fluid circulates, and by acting as a buffer it is responsible for shielding the brain from injury. Hemorrhage can cause a coma, paralysis and even death in this space. This condition can happen quickly, and is often the outcome of head trauma. Immediate medical intervention is key to survival. The life-threatening condition is rare as well.          

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