We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Brainstem Hemorrhage?

By Christina Whyte
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Brainstem hemorrhage is a very serious condition in which bleeding occurs in the stem region of the brain. This puts pressure on and damages the structures in this area. Brainstem hemorrhage can have a variety of different causes including trauma, stroke, or pre-existing problems with blood vessels. Once bleeding begins, the hemorrhage usually progresses rapidly and the prognosis is poor.

The brain stem is a critical structure for maintaining neurological health, consciousness, and the basic systems necessary for life. It is located at the base of the brain where it connects with the spinal cord, and it contains three structures - the mid-brain, pons, and medulla oblongata. The brainstem controls the basic functions of life, such as breathing and heart rate, as well as mediating most of the messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Also located in this region of the brain is the reticular activation system, which is important for consciousness. If this system is damaged, a person will become and remain unconscious.

There a few different potential causes for a brainstem hemorrhage. Severe or repetitive head trauma to the brainstem region can cause hemorrhage. Hemorrhagic strokes are a kind of stroke that results in bleeding in the brain; these can have causes as diverse as hypertension, cocaine abuse, or aneurysms. This bleeding can occur in multiple regions of the brain, including the brainstem.

Another contributing factor for this type of hemorrhage is a congenital, or present at birth, disorder called arteriovenous malformation, in which the blood vessels in the brain stem are abnormal and tangled together in a complex web. Fistulas, abnormal connecting pathways, connect the arteries and veins directly, disrupting the normal blood flow process in which oxygen-rich blood travels from the heart through the arteries and oxygen-depleted blood returns to the heart through the veins. If an arteriovenous malformation ruptures, stroke and hemorrhage can occur. There are surgical and non-surgical treatments available for arteriovenous malformation if it is diagnosed in time.

The most common symptom of a brainstem hemorrhage is rapid decrease in consciousness leading to coma. Loss of motor control in any or all limbs or loss of control over the movement of the eyes are other common symptoms. Usually, the patient's condition degenerates rapidly.

Hemorrhage can occur in many different areas of the brain and the structures surrounding it. Patients suffering many of these can make a full or partial recovery both without medical intervention strategies including conservative management, or with surgery. Unfortunately, brainstem hemorrhage is extremely likely to lead to permanent and severe brain damage, coma, or death. Patients with small hemorrhages may be successfully treated with surgery to release the blood and reduce pressure on the brain.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon993597 — On Nov 27, 2015

Please please please always wear a helmet! It only takes one fall.

By Glasis — On Feb 02, 2014

A good way to encourage kids to wear a helmet is to have the child pick out their own helmet.

It takes away the uncool factor. You may have to pay for a flashy or more showy helmet, but the investment will be worth it.

By Telsyst — On Feb 02, 2014

Encouraging kids at a young age to wear helmets could lead to fewer problems like this as adults.

A significant amount of brain trauma can be stopped simply by having a child wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboarding or playing any type of collision sport.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.