Brain Aneurysm - Medical Malpractice LawyersLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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A cerebral aneurysm or brain aneurysm, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain balloons outward. When this happens, the wall of the vessel can become quite thin and leak or rupture, causing bleeding in the brain, leading to a hemorrhagic stroke. Aneurysms are commonly found in the area between the layers covering the brain and the brain itself, which causes a serious medical condition known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The majority of cerebral aneurysms do not ever rupture or leak. They are often found during routine brain tests or scans and are typically monitored to make sure they are not growing in size or causing problems. In some cases, aneurysms that have not ruptured may be treated to ensure they will not cause harm.
In the event that a brain hemorrhage or cerebral aneurysm was missed, improperly diagnosed, or surgery to repair the problem was botched, an aneurysm lawyer may be able to help you recover damages for your injuries.
Signs and Symptoms
An aneurysm that has not ruptured typically has few signs or symptoms. That being said, an aneurysm that has ruptured can cause many symptoms including: severe headaches, blurry vision, stiff neck, double vision, vomiting, difficulty concentrating, confusion, eyelid drooping on one side of the face, seizures and lack of consciousness.
Aneurysms that are leaking often cause severe headaches, but not other neurological symptoms. In some cases, aneurysms that are not ruptured or leaking may cause a bit of pain above one eye, numbness or paralysis of one part of the body, vision changes, a droopy eyelid, or a dilated pupil.
Unfortunately, a patient may visit the hospital or doctor to address a serious headache, and is told to return home and take over the counter pain medication. In a short period of time, the person may lose consciousness and have little chance of recovery. When this happens, negligence has occurred and a brain hemorrhage lawyer can help.
While a cerebral aneurysm can happen in anyone, there are certain risk factors that increase a personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chances of being affected. Factors such as smoking, having elevated blood pressure, illegal drug use, head injuries, alcohol abuse, low post menopausal estrogen levels, arteriosclerosis or a hardening of the arteries, a family history of aneurysms, certain types of infections, weakened blood vessels, kidney disease, and a narrowing of the aorta can all increase your risk of a aneurysm.
In most cases, aneurysms that need treatment require surgery to halt the bleeding. There are two main surgical procedures that are preformed to achieve this result. One involves opening the skull and using a metal clip to pinch off the aneurysm. The second option is less invasive, and uses a catheter that is placed into the artery and is threaded to the site that is bleeding. This done by using a guide wire that pushes a platinum wire into the aneurysm; it coils and causes the bleed to clot. This is often referred to as endovascular coiling. Even though this procedure is less invasive, it does have a higher chance of the bleeding reoccurring.
Following surgery, the remainder of treatment for a brain aneurysm is supportive in nature. Pain medications are given to manage pain, calcium channel blockers are administered to control the vasospasm near the ruptured artery, and vasopressors are prescribed to prevent strokes. In some cases medication may be needed to prevent seizures as well. If there is pressure on the brain, a ventricular catheter may be used to drain some of the fluid into the abdomen. In the event there is neurological damage, rehabilitation may also be required.
If there was any form of inadequate medical treatment of a brain hemorrhage, a medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you file a claim to recover damages for your loss.
A brain aneurysm, also known as a cerebral or intracranial aneurysm, is a bulging of one of the arteries of the brain. It is a common condition, affecting up to one in fifteen people in the US. Brain aneurysms are often completely asymptomatic unless they rupture. Ruptured cerebral aneurysms cause bleeding within the brain or into the subarachnoid space, the small space between the brain and the outer covering. A haemorrhage from a ruptured brain aneurysm includes the possibility of a haemorrhagic stroke, brain damage and even death. The goals of treatment of a brain aneurysm are to stop bleeding and if possible, to catch the aneurysm before it actually bleeds. You can prevent rupture by treating an unruptured brain aneurysm or by treating the aneurysm after it starts bleeding.
Up to 0.2 to 3 percent of brain aneurysm patients bleed each year. About 30,000 people will get a subarachnoid haemorrhage from an aneurysm per year. Ten to fifteen percent never reach the hospital and die before that can happen. More than fifty percent die within thirty days of having a ruptured aneurysm. Women are more likely to have an aneurysm and the ages one gets them are between 35 and sixty years old.
Most people will have no symptoms until the brain aneurysm ruptures. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include stroke like symptoms, severe headache, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, difficulty in vision, balance and coordination symptoms, and a seizure disorder. These are usually of a sudden onset and require emergency treatment. Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms.
Unruptured aneurysms have symptoms of headache and sometimes nausea and vomiting or visual changes. Large aneurysms can have the same symptoms of ruptured aneurysms but these are of a slower onset. They include numbness, weakness, double vision, seizures, and difficulty speaking along with a severe headache.
Brain aneurysms occur because of a thinning of the artery walls. It happens usually at forks and branches of the artery because the vessel is the weakest at that part. They most commonly occur at the base of the brain. Risk factors include older age, being a smoker, being hypertensive, having arteriosclerosis, having a positive family history for the disease, having a previous head injury, drug or alcohol abuse and being after menopause. Certain connective tissue disorders you can be born with cause a weakened connective tissue state and an increase in aneurysms. Polycystic kidney disease can contribute to getting aneurysms of the brain. Having an arteriovenous malformation puts you at a greater risk of getting a brain aneurysm.
Tests for an aneurysm include having a spinal tap to check the fluid in the subarachnoid space for blood. A CT scan or MRI scan can show intracerebral bleeding. A cerebral aneurysm can be diagnosed in its unruptured state using a cerebral angiogram or arteriogram. Dye is inserted into the artery and the arteries are examined under x-rays to see if there is a bulging or bleeding in the brain.
Treatment for a cerebral aneurysm includes surgery to clip off the aneurysm. It stops the blood flow through the aneurysm. Endovascular coiling is another procedure that works and is less invasive than surgery. It involves placing a catheter into the artery that has a coil on the end of it. The wire enters the aneurysm and is wound inside the aneurysm, causing it to clot. It will not rupture after that. It doesn't work as well as clipping but it is effective in many patients.
Other treatments are done to control pain and other symptom. You can use pain medication, calcium channel blockers, which lessen vasospasm around the arteries. It reduces the risk of brain injury after a ruptured aneurysm. IV injections of vasopressors into the arteries can force blood through narrowed arteries. Anti-seizure medication can be used to manage seizures associated with a ruptured aneurysm. Ventricular catheters can lessen the pressure on the brain formed by too much blood in the brain space. Rehabilitative therapy is used to relearn behaviours that are lost during a bleed.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here