An aneurysm is an area of a blood vessel wall that has weakened and bulged outwards. Most commonly, these occur in the aorta, the largest artery in the body, which feeds all the major internal organs except the lungs. Aneurysms that occur in the abdomen (abdominal aortic aneurysms) are the most typical of this type. Aneurysms are also common in the arteries of the brain (cerebral aneurysms).
If an aneurysm bursts – due to the pressure of the blood pulsing through the artery – severe internal bleeding, kidney failure, and death can result, sometimes very rapidly. That is why diagnosis and treatment of this condition is critical.
Causes of an Aneurysm
Some possible causes of an aneurysm include:
- Medical Negligence (Failure to Diagnose)
- Personal Injury
- Brain Injury
- Atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries)
- High blood pressure
- Diseases (vasculitis)
Early diagnosis and surgery to correct aneurysms before they burst is an important treatment for this condition. In many cases, synthetic grafts are used to repair the blood vessels.
It is crucial that emergency room doctors recognize and quickly respond to the symptoms of an aneurysm. If they misdiagnose this medical emergency, the patient could very easily suffer severe injury or die. The signs and symptoms of an aneurysm depend upon its location, type and whether or not it has ruptured or is interfering with other parts of the body.
Cerebral Aneurysm Symptoms
- Double vision
- Droopy eyelid
- Dilated pupil
- Pain behind or above eye
- Numbness or weakness on side of face or body
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
- Coughing, difficulty breathing, hoarseness
- Pain in jaw, neck, upper back or chest
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
- Coldness, numbness or tingling in feet due to blocked blood flow in feet
- Steady gnawing pain in abdomen that lasts for hours or days at a time
- Deep pain in your back or side abdomen
Peripheral Aneurysm Symptoms
- Leg or arm pain, or cramping with exercise
- A pulsating lump that can be felt in neck, arm or leg
- Painful sores on toes or fingers
- Gangrene (tissue death) from lack of blood flow to limbs
Filing a Lawsuit
Aneurysms cause thousands of cases of brain damage, coma, internal bleeding and death each year. Oftentimes these can be repaired or treated if diagnosed in time. Patients or their families who have suffered from a burst aneurysm as a result of negligence or personal injury may be entitled to financial compensation to help recover medical expenses. Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to learn more about your legal rights.