Stroke, subarachnoid haemorrhage or intracerebral haemorrhage
Patients with a stroke due to a blockage in one of the arteries to the brain may be admitted to NICU for clot busting (thrombolysis) treatment. University Hospital Southampton provides a 24-hour service for stroke thrombolysis and these patients require intensive monitoring for up to 24 hours after treatment. Thereafter patients will usually be transferred to the stroke unit for rehabilitation. The care of patients with a stroke is provided jointly by the stroke team and the ICU team.
Patients who have a brain haemorrhage will also often be admitted to NICU. This may be because they need careful monitoring or following treatment. A subarachnoid haemorrhage is a bleed into the subarachnoid space between the brain and its linings. These are often caused by an aneurysm of the blood vessel. An intracerebral haemorrhage is one that occurs into the substance of the brain itself and may be caused by high blood pressure or an arteriovenous malformation (an abnormal collection of blood vessels within the brain). Once a patient is stable they will often undergo an angiogram to get a ‘road map’ of the blood vessels in the brain and to see if there is an aneurysm or another cause that requires treatment. These treatments may be surgical (performed by a neurosurgeon) or done radiologically (by a neuroradiologist)
We have subarachnoid haemorrhage specialist nurses who are able to give support and advice to patients and families.