Wikipedia:Today's featured article/October 14, 2008

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A CT scan of a brain showing a subarachnoid hemorrhage

A subarachnoid hemorrhage is bleeding into the subarachnoid space—the area between the arachnoid membrane and the pia mater surrounding the brain. This may occur spontaneously, usually from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, or may result from head injury. Symptoms include an intense headache with a rapid onset ("thunderclap headache"), vomiting, and an altered level of consciousness. The diagnosis is generally made with a CT scan of the head, or occasionally by lumbar puncture. SAH is managed with close observation and prompt neurosurgical and radiological therapies, medications and other management methods to help prevent recurrence of the bleeding and complications. SAH is a medical emergency and can lead to death or severe disability—even when recognized and treated at an early stage. Up to half of all cases of SAH are fatal and 10–15% die before reaching a hospital, and those who survive often have neurological or cognitive impairment. Subarachnoid hemorrhage is considered a form of stroke and causes 1–7% of all strokes. Surgery for aneurysms was introduced in the 1930s, but since the 1990s many aneurysms are treated by a procedure called "coiling", which is carried out from within the blood vessels. (more...)

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