Brain Aneurysm - Malpractice Lawyer Compensation Claims

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Brain Aneurysm - Medical Malpractice

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.

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