This guideline covers diagnosing and treating an aneurysmal (caused by a ruptured aneurysm) subarachnoid haemorrhage and its complications. It provides recommendations to improve diagnosis and ensure that the most effective treatments are offered. It includes guidance on follow-up care and information for people (aged 16 and over) who have had an aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage, their families and carers.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

See the visual summary on recommendations for the diagnosis and management of subarachnoid haemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.

View visual summary 1

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Commissioners and providers of healthcare services for people with a suspected or confirmed subarachnoid haemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm
  • People with an aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage, their families and carers

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.