Causes: Non-traumatic

Intracranial hemorrhage may have traumatic and non-traumatic causes. One non-traumatic cause is hemorrhagic stroke which accounts for 8%-13% of all strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes often have a poor prognosis resulting in death or major disability.  Hypertension is the most common cause of non-traumatic intercerebral hemorrhage because it causes damage to the blood vessels in the brain.  Other non-traumatic causes include bleeding aneurysms, bleeding from anticoagulant medications, tumors and infections (Liebeskind, 2014).  Risk factors for hemorrhagic stroke include advanced age, high blood pressure, previous stroke, alcohol abuse, and use of illicit drugs such as cocaine.  Risk of hemorrhagic stroke can be reduced by controlling modifiable risk factors such as taking prescribed medications for blood pressure, limiting alcohol use and avoiding the use of illicit drugs.

Causes: Traumatic

Patients taking “blood thinners” such as Coumadin or Plavix are at increased risk of traumatic intracerebral bleeding from blunt head trauma.  Intracranial hemorrhage can happen from blunt force trauma and can happen in various situations.  Head trauma can happen as the result of motor vehicle accidents and accidental falls.  Trauma causing intracranial bleeding may also happen by being struck by a firm object such as a fist, crowbar or bat.


This month we are discussing head trauma and the types of bleeds that can result. The blog topics for this month are:

  • ICH Defined (2/6/15)
  • Causes: Non-Traumatic & Traumatic (2/13/15)
  • Types of Hemorrhages (2/20/15)
  • Legal Implications (2/27/15)

Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here

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