The Urgency of an Accurate Aneurysm Diagnosis
Aneurysms are extremely serious medical conditions that occur when a blood vessel balloons out due to a weakening of the artery wall. According to the American Heart Association, there are numerous causes for these conditions. While some patients are born with them, others experience aneurysms after an injury or aortic disease. Accurate diagnosis and treatment of this illness are critical, as aneurysms are considered medical emergencies that can put your life at risk.
While you often hear about aneurysms occurring in the brain, they can actually occur in various areas of the body:
- Aortic aneurysms occur with the heart;
- Popliteal aneurysms occur in the vessels behind the knee;
- Abdominal aneurysms occur within the abdominal cavity;
- Mesenteric aneurysms are intestinal;
- Splenic aneurysms happen inside the spleen; and
- Cerebral aneurysms occur within blood vessels of the brain.
All aneurysms are serious, but those of the abdominal area, brain and heart are especially dangerous due to the especially high risk of death upon rupturing. According to the health website, Life 123, abdominal aneurysms are the most common. These happen in the area of the aortic artery that branches off into the lower extremities. Of the patients with these types of illnesses, 75% are reportedly senior citizens. Roughly 20% of these aneurysms rupture, leading to internal bleeding and death if not treated early enough.
Aortic aneurysms are also extremely dangerous, and have a high mortality rate. This is because many of them occur without warning symptoms. However, they are often diagnosed during physician examinations for other illnesses or problems. Ruptures of an aortic aneurysm cause internal bleeding and intense levels of pain. Death can occur within minutes of the rupture.
Cerebral aneurysms begin at the base of the brain. Blood pressure within the brain is naturally high, creating a significant risk of rupturing for aneurysms that develop there. If the artery walls break, blood can leak into the brain tissue, possibly leading to a quick death.
The American Heart Association provides possible symptoms or signs of an aneurysm:
- Clammy skin;
- Severe headache;
- Rapid heart rate;
- Dizziness; and
- Low blood pressure
Your Physician’s Responsibility
Aneurysms can form in your body and remain there for the entirety of your life without rupturing. If you show symptoms, your doctor can diagnose the condition through a CT scan or angiogram. Once diagnosed, there are possible treatment options to lessen the risk of rupture, including close monitoring and control of blood pressure, stress management and cessation of smoking. Some aneurysms require surgery to strengthen the artery wall. However, adequate treatment extends from accurate diagnosis. Patients who exhibit several risk factors for an aneurysm should be tested and screened for the condition. If a physician misses an aneurysm diagnosis, the results are often fatal and the inaction of the doctor may rise to a level of medical malpractice.
If you or a family member has experienced a death or injury due to a missed aneurysm diagnosis, call Pita & Del Prado in Miami at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation. Put the skills of experienced trial lawyers to work for you.