Hyperacute management of intracerebral haemorrhage

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Intracerebral haemorrhage causes 1 in 10 strokes, but has the worst overall outcomes of all stroke subtypes. Baseline haematoma volume is a key prognostic factor and early complications – such as haematoma expansion, obstructive hydrocephalus and perihaematomal oedema – may worsen outcome. There is evidence that withdrawal of care may occur more often in intracerebral haemorrhage than ischaemic stroke independent of premorbid health and stroke severity. However, recent evidence shows that reversal of anticoagulants, intensive blood pressure lowering and surgery in carefully selected cases may improve outcomes. Ongoing research may also provide evidence for new medical treatments and minimally invasive approaches to surgery. Effective implementation of evidence-based care to intracerebral haemorrhage patients can be difficult but quality improvement methodology can help to achieve maximal benefit.

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