Subarachnoid Hemorrhage


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Release Date

5 Oct 2020

Expiration Date

8 Aug 2021

Last Reviewed

8 Aug 2020

Estimated Time To Finish

120 Minutes

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Activity Description

Subarachnoid hemorrhages are life-threatening and result from the accumulation of blood between the arachnoid and pia mater. The incidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage in the United States is between 10 to 14 out of 100,000 individuals per year. Although presentations may vary, the characteristic presenting symptom is the thunderclap headache, which patients may describe as the “worst headache of my life.” This should prompt further imaging. The headache often is associated with nausea, vomiting, and diplopia. Quite often signs of meningismus are present due to the spread of blood into the fourth ventricle and further down the spinal cord, irritating nerves and causing neck and back pain. Cranial nerve deficits can occur. Practitioners should perform a detailed exam. The presence of focal deficit increases the grade of subarachnoid hemorrhage and changes the perspective of post-event recovery. Patients with a high-grade subarachnoid hemorrhage quite often present in a state of coma that calls for a quick evaluation and urgent treatment, as the coma can be reversible. In addition to subarachnoid hemorrhage patients may have a concurrent intraocular hemorrhage, known as Terson syndrome. When Terson syndrome is present, an ophthalmology service should be consulted to help with the care of the patient. Eighty percent of patients that develop Terson syndrome require regular follow up visits but do not require further intervention. This activity reviews the evaluation and management of subarachnoid hemorrhages and highlights the essential role of the interprofessional team in caring for those with this grave condition.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Explain when subarachnoid hemorrhage should be considered on differential diagnosis.
  • Review the exam findings expected in a patient with a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Describe the management of a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Outline the pharmacologic therapy as it applies to Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Author(s) / Contributors Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Each author, editor, faculty and planning committee member have completed a disclosure form indicating that neither they nor their spouse/partner has a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of this activity.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.


Hover over the contributor names to see details and disclosures of any financial relationships or relationships they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this continuing education activity.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information


This activity is jointly provided by AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare and StatPearls. AKH, Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This activity is awarded 2.00 Contact Hours.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing and a money-back guarantee is provided if not completely satisfied.

  • StatPearls and AKH reserve the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. StatPearls and AKH will not be responsible for other expenses incurred by the participant in the unlikely event that the program is canceled.

Equal Opportunity

  • StatPearls and AKH are Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action / Equal Access Institutions. 

Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements:  Internet Access
  • E-mail Address

Instructions for Credit

  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the required accreditation information:  Target audience, learning objectives and disclosure information.
  3. Complete the entire self-study activity.
  4. Complete the post-test assessments.
  5. Successfully pass the post-test with a minimum score of 100%.
  6. Complete the evaluation form.
  7. Obtain a certificate.

StatPearls and AKH adhere to ANCC Standards regarding commercial support of continuing nursing education. It is the policy of StatPearls and AKH that the faculty and planning committee disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity, that relevant conflict(s) of interest are resolved and also that authors and editors will disclose any unlabeled/unapproved use of drug(s) or device(s) during their presentation. Detailed disclosure will be made prior to starting the activity.

The information provided at this CNE activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

  • If you have concerns regarding the CE system, please contact, or call 727-289-9796.
  • If you have concerns regarding CE, please contact or call AKH 877-AKH-CME4.


Media Usage Rights

The contributors and editors of StatPearls have attested that all associated media (images and video) have been legally cleared for use with this activity.  All copyrights are reserved.

  • Name: 'SAH.jpg' Attribution: Contributed by Scott Dulebohn, MD
  • Name: 'Stroke_hemorrhagic.jpg' Attribution: Contributed by National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NIH)
  • Name: 'CT-image-of-subarachnoid-haemorrhage-Non-contrast-CT-scan-of-brain-showing-subarachnoid.png' Attribution: Contributed from Liam Flynn and Peter JD Andrews (CC By S.A. 4.0


Susana C. on 4/27/2021

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