Brain bleeding / Brain hemorrhage / Cerebral hemorrhage (AmE)


Senior Member
Hello everyone!

I've just heard the devastating news of Sir Alex Ferguson being taken to hospital.
Let's all hope he gets well soon!

My question is what you call his diagnosis. I've found the expressions brain bleeding, brain hemorrhage and cerebral hemorrhage.
Which is the most common in American English?
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    These expressions are not synonymous in AE.

    My 97-year-old mother-in-law was recently taken to the hospital with brain bleeding, which definitely was not a "cerebral hemorrhage." (She survived)

    ... but I await a more professional response.


    Senior Member
    English - American
    "Brain" and "cerebral" ought to be synonyms. I'm no doctor, so I can't tell the difference between that and a brain bleed, which I've always heard in this noun form (not as "bleeding"). A big one is a hematoma, yes? Or is that just the collection of blood before the burst?


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The press release used the words brain haemorrhage and The Guardian had the quote below that explains in the scond setnece what the words in the first sentence mean:) Cerebral and brain mean the same kind of haemorrhage. Hard to know what the "general AE" preference would be - it could deped on the level of education and precision of the speaker :) The LA Times used brain hemorrhage, as do most of the other US papers I saw.

    Sir Alex Ferguson was in a serious condition in hospital on Saturday night after suffering a brain haemorrhage. The former Manchester United manager underwent emergency surgery on Saturday for a bleed on the brain. This was said to have been successful and his family were at his bedside as he began his recovery.
    The word "stroke" has not been used in the headlines so far, but this is where medical knowledge would be needed to provide some clarity on the precise difference btween brain haemorrhage and haemorrhagic stroke.

    When a weakened blood vessel ruptures and spills blood into brain tissue, it’s called a hemorrhagic stroke.


    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    this is where medical knowledge would be needed
    Where is AndyGC when you need him?

    As I understand it, a stroke (or "brain attack", as they seem to call it these days by analogy with a heart attack) is what we call the condition when certain parts of the brain are deprived of blood flow and hence oxygen, and stop working, either temporarily or permanently.
    In vague terms, the cause can be either a blockage or a haemorrhage (bleeding). It seems to me that in principle neither of those would necessarily lead to a stroke (if the blockage is only partial, or the bleeding is only a slight "leak"), so that no part of the brain is totally deprived of blood. But of course one would typically only diagnose one or other of the above as a result of observing some loss of function.


    Senior Member
    British English
    He is reported to have had a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage.

    "Cerebral haemorrhage" is meaningless. "Intracerebral haemorrhage" = in the cerebrum. "Intracerebellar haemorrhage" = in the cerebellum. "Intracranial haemorrhage" = inside the cranium (the cavity within the skull that contains the brain). So "intracranial" is the least specific term.


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The Independent seems to have provided a reasonable summary:

    What is a brain haemorrhage?
    Put simply, it is bleeding in or around the brain. It causes swelling, and the pooled blood forms a mass known as a haematoma, increasing the pressure on the brain and reducing vital blood flow.
    People who experience the condition will sometimes develop symptoms similar to a stroke, with weakness on one side of the body or a feeling of numbness.

    Sometimes patients will experience a severe headache or difficulty speaking or seeing.
    Sir Alex has reportedly suffered a variety known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which accounts for around one in every 20 strokes that take place.
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