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Brain Bleed Pittsburgh Attorney | Pennsylvania Brain Aneurysm Lawyers

Posted on May 06, 2009

Trial magazine, the Journal of the American Association of Justice, published an article written by attorneys David Paul and Melissa Neiman.  They write that aneurysm in the brain (cerebral aneurysm) are ballooned areas on arteries.  If they stretch and rupture, blood leaks out of the artery and into the brain.  This initial leak is called the sentinel leak.  This results in a sudden, explosive headache.  Often these patients have a headache but no other signs or symptoms.  Other signs and symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or neck pain.  Of course, altered consciousness such as drowsiness or agitation, weakness, visual problems or paralysis are important findings. 

Up to 60% of the patients that seek medical attention are misdiagnosed and later suffer a larger hemorrhage.  Many of these patients will go to the emergency room complaining of headache. If the sentinel leak is diagnosed and treated promptly, the patient will suffer no injuries.  If, however, the leak is misdiagnosed and a more serious bleed occurs, the patient likely will suffer brain damage resulting in paralysis, loss of vision, or death. 

The doctors' failure to diagnose a ruptured brain aneurysm or bleeding around the brain may be due to the doctors' failure to obtain an adequate history; to perform a thorough neurologic exam; or to understand the significance of the findings on physical exam.  Also, many times the doctor does not order, obtain or accurately interpret tests that would show the rupture and/or bleed. 

In this article, the authors discuss the risk factors for a ruptured brain aneurysm including more women than men; more blacks than whites; age; family history; and pregnancy.  Also, smoking, hypertension, heavy alcohol use and cocaine use are risks for a ruptured aneurysm.

Once the differential diagnosis includes subarachnoid hemorrhage, a CT scan of the head should be done.  If the CT scan is normal or inconclusive, a lumbar puncture should be performed to look for blood in the cerebrospinal fluid.  Once the diagnosis of bleed is made, cerebral angiography should be done to identity the location of the source of the bleeding.  Definitive treatment is done by surgical placement of a clip across the aneurysm to prevent rupture or, less invasively, placement of coil in the aneurysm via a catheter.

For free information about aneurysms and bleeds in the brain, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Pittsburgh, PA, working for injured persons in Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Uniontown, Erie, and Washington.

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