Nursing Care Plan For Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Nursing Care Plan For Subarachnoid Hemorrhage


A subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a medical emergency characterized by bleeding in the subarachnoid space surrounding the brain. It is typically caused by the rupture of a cerebral aneurysm, head trauma, or other vascular abnormalities. The sudden and critical nature of this condition demands immediate and specialized nursing care to optimize patient outcomes and minimize potential complications.

The nursing care plan for subarachnoid hemorrhage is a comprehensive and systematic approach that focuses on providing timely and evidence-based interventions to manage the condition effectively. It centers on closely monitoring the patient’s neurological status, preventing secondary brain injury, and promoting cerebral perfusion to support the brain’s recovery.

In this nursing care plan for subarachnoid hemorrhage, early detection of complications, such as vasospasm and increased intracranial pressure, is paramount. Nurses closely monitor vital signs, and neurological changes, and perform frequent assessments to promptly identify any signs of deterioration and take necessary actions to stabilize the patient’s condition.

Nursing Assessment for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage:

1. Neurological Assessment:

  • Conduct a thorough neurological assessment to evaluate the patient’s level of consciousness, cognitive function, and orientation to person, place, and time.
  • Monitor for any changes in neurological status, such as alterations in speech, motor function, or sensation.

2. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) Score:

  • Assess the patient’s GCS score to objectively measure the level of consciousness and determine the severity of the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Document GCS scores regularly to track changes over time.

3. Vital Signs:

  • Monitor and document the patient’s vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature, frequently to identify any signs of instability or changes.

4. Pupillary Response:

  • Assess and document the size, shape, and reactivity of the patient’s pupils.
  • Monitor for any asymmetry or changes in pupillary responses, as it may indicate neurological deterioration.

5. Pain Assessment:

  • Assess the patient’s pain using a pain scale to identify and manage discomfort associated with the subarachnoid hemorrhage or any invasive procedures.

6. Respiratory Assessment:

  • Evaluate the patient’s respiratory status and auscultate lung sounds to identify any signs of respiratory distress or aspiration, which can be associated with neurological deficits.

7. Cardiovascular Assessment:

  • Monitor cardiac rhythm and auscultate heart sounds to assess cardiovascular stability.
  • Observe for signs of hypertension, which can contribute to the risk of re-bleeding.

8. Intracranial Pressure (ICP) Monitoring:

  • Collaborate with the healthcare team to monitor ICP, when indicated, to assess cerebral perfusion and prevent secondary brain injury.
  • Closely observe ICP readings and promptly report any significant changes.

9. Skin Assessment:

  • Inspect the patient’s skin for any signs of bruising or trauma that might indicate possible head injury or additional injuries related to the subarachnoid hemorrhage.

10. Level of Consciousness (LOC) Changes:

  • Document any fluctuations in the patient’s level of consciousness and promptly report any deterioration to the healthcare team.
  • Assess the patient’s response to verbal and physical stimuli regularly.

11. Family Assessment:

  • Involve the patient’s family in the assessment process, gathering information on the patient’s medical history, any pre-existing conditions, and any recent changes in behavior or cognition.

By conducting a comprehensive nursing assessment for subarachnoid hemorrhage, healthcare providers can promptly identify potential complications, monitor the patient’s condition closely, and intervene appropriately to optimize patient outcomes and promote their overall well-being. The assessment serves as the foundation for developing an individualized care plan that addresses the specific needs of each patient and supports them throughout their journey to recovery.

Nursing Diagnosis for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage:

  • Risk for Decreased Intracranial Adaptive Capacity related to increased intracranial pressure and cerebral edema from the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Acute Pain related to the sudden onset of the subarachnoid hemorrhage and its impact on the brain structures and surrounding tissues.
  • Impaired Physical Mobility related to neurological deficits, muscle weakness, and potential complications from the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Risk for Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion related to reduced blood flow to the brain as a result of the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Risk for Infection related to invasive procedures, such as surgical interventions, and potentially compromised immunity due to the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Impaired Verbal Communication related to potential aphasia, dysarthria, or altered mental status following the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Disturbed Sensory Perception related to changes in neurological function and altered sensory responses caused by the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Anxiety related to the sudden and life-threatening nature of the subarachnoid hemorrhage and uncertainty about the recovery process.
  • Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity related to immobility and positioning during treatment and recovery from the subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Risk for Falls related to altered mobility, weakness, and balance issues due to the subarachnoid hemorrhage.

These nursing diagnoses provide a basis for developing a comprehensive care plan that addresses the specific needs of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. The interventions associated with each diagnosis aim to prevent complications, manage symptoms, and support the patient’s recovery. By closely monitoring the patient’s condition and implementing evidence-based nursing interventions, healthcare providers can optimize patient outcomes and promote their overall well-being in the context of a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Nursing Interventions for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage:

1. Neurological Monitoring:

  • Conduct frequent neurological assessments, including Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores, to monitor the patient’s level of consciousness and neurological status.
  • Observe and document any changes in pupillary responses, motor function, and speech.

2. Pain Management:

  • Administer prescribed analgesics promptly to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with the subarachnoid hemorrhage and any related procedures.
  • Use non-pharmacological pain relief measures, such as positioning, distraction, or relaxation techniques.

3. Preventing Increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP):

  • . Elevate the head of the bed to a semi-Fowler’s position to reduce intracranial pressure and promote cerebral perfusion.
  • Avoid activities that may increase ICP, such as Valsalva maneuver or excessive coughing.

4. Hemodynamic Stability:

  • Monitor and maintain stable blood pressure to prevent re-bleeding and minimize the risk of complications.
  • Administer prescribed medications to manage blood pressure within the target range.

5. Respiratory Support:

  • Monitor respiratory status closely, providing supplemental oxygen as needed to maintain adequate oxygenation.
  • Assist with deep breathing exercises to prevent respiratory complications and maintain lung function.

6. Preventing Infection:

  • Adhere to strict aseptic techniques during wound care, invasive procedures, and catheter insertions to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Monitor for signs of infection, such as fever or changes at the site of invasive lines.

7. Communication Support:

  • Use clear and concise communication techniques when interacting with the patient, adapting the approach based on the patient’s cognitive abilities.
  • Utilize alternative means of communication, such as picture boards or gesture-based communication, if the patient experiences difficulty with verbal communication.

8. Preventing Skin Breakdown:

  • Implement measures to prevent pressure ulcers, such as frequent repositioning, the use of pressure-relieving devices, and regular skin assessments.
  • Keep the skin clean and dry, and provide appropriate wound care if necessary.

9. Anxiety Reduction:

  • Offer emotional support and reassurance to the patient and their family, addressing any concerns or fears related to the subarachnoid hemorrhage and its consequences.
  • Utilize relaxation techniques or guided imagery to help the patient cope with anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

10. Mobility Support:

  • Assist the patient with safe and controlled mobilization, taking into consideration neurological deficits and potential risks for falls.
  • Collaborate with physical therapy to develop a structured mobility program that promotes independence and helps prevent complications associated with immobility.

By implementing these nursing interventions, healthcare providers can effectively manage subarachnoid hemorrhages, prevent complications, and optimize patient outcomes. The care provided by nurses plays a crucial role in supporting the patient’s recovery and promoting their overall well-being during this critical phase of managing a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Through their expertise, vigilance, and compassionate care, nurses significantly contribute to improved patient outcomes and overall quality of life following a subarachnoid hemorrhage.


In conclusion, the nursing care plan for subarachnoid hemorrhage is a comprehensive and patient-centered approach that addresses the critical and complex nature of this life-threatening medical condition. Through evidence-based interventions and close monitoring, nurses play a pivotal role in managing subarachnoid hemorrhages, promoting patient safety, and supporting their recovery journey.

The nursing care plan emphasizes the importance of neurological monitoring, pain management, and preventing complications such as increased intracranial pressure and infections. By closely monitoring the patient’s neurological status and promptly identifying any changes, nurses can intervene early and prevent further brain injury.

Pain management is crucial in providing comfort and enhancing the patient’s overall well-being during the recovery process. Nurses utilize a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to alleviate pain and discomfort related to subarachnoid hemorrhage and any invasive procedures.

The nursing care plan also prioritizes communication support and anxiety reduction, recognizing the emotional toll the condition takes on both the patient and their family. By providing emotional support and utilizing effective communication techniques, nurses facilitate better understanding and coping with the uncertainty surrounding the recovery process.

In conclusion, the nursing care plan for subarachnoid hemorrhage underscores the dedication of nurses to delivering compassionate and evidence-based care. By addressing the physical, emotional, and psychosocial aspects of care, nurses play a crucial role in supporting patients and their families during the challenging journey of recovery. Through their expertise, vigilance, and continuous assessment, nurses significantly contribute to improving patient outcomes and optimizing their overall well-being following a subarachnoid hemorrhage. By working collaboratively with the healthcare team and engaging the patient and their family in the care process, nurses provide comprehensive and patient-centered care, ensuring the best possible outcomes in the management of subarachnoid hemorrhages.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *