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Theme: non-traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhages
  1. Michael Davey1,2
  1. 1Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  2. 2Division Acute Care Medicine, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Davey, Assistant Director, Director Research, Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia; michael.davey{at}

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Question 1

Which of the following are true regarding the presentation of non-traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage (NTSAH)?

  1. One in 10 patients attending the emergency department (ED) with ‘worst ever’ headache but normal neurological examination will have NTSAH.

  2. Patients with the greatest likelihood of benefiting from surgery are most likely to be misdiagnosed in the ED.

  3. A third nerve palsy due to an expanding aneurysm has a dilated pupil and ptosis, and therefore can be reliably distinguished from ischaemic causes in which the pupillary function is normal.

  4. Fifty per cent of NTSAH occurring in pregnancy do so during labour or the immediate post partum period.

Question 2

Which of the following are true regarding the investigation of a possible NTSAH?

  1. Eight …

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  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.