Subarachnoid hemorrhage is an often devastating intracranial hemorrhage resulting from acute bleeding into the subarachnoid space. Although its overall incidence is less than that of acute ischemic stroke, sub-arachnoid hemorrhage carries increased risks of both mortality and disability. Although many patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage are transferred to specialty centers, they might initially present to small community-based hospitals. Treatment for these patients is complex, requiring specialized care and knowledge, and various complications can occur quickly and without warning. Therefore, all members of the health care team who care for these patients must understand proper management. Nurses in the intensive care unit play an important role in influencing outcomes, as they are best positioned to recognize neurological decline and provide rapid intervention. This article discusses the anatomy relevant to, and the epidemiology and pathophysiology of, subarachnoid hemorrhage and provides an overview of current evidence and clinical guidelines for managing this brain injury.

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