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Delayed diagnosis of aneurysms can be deadly

When a person suffers a brain injury or has other brain issues, getting prompt treatment can often minimize the long-term effects. One such injury occurs when a person suffers from an intracranial aneurysm. A patient with a brain aneurysm needs emergency medical care that mustn't be delayed for any reason. Our readers in Washington, District of Columbia, might like to know more about aneurysms so they can understand why prompt treatment is so vital.

An aneurysm occurs when the inner muscle layer of a blood vessel wall weakens and allows a artery to dilate. When the dilation occurs, an area of the blood vessel begins to resemble a blister. This area is very thin and is subject to rupture. If it ruptures, the blood that normally travels through the blood vessel begins to flow freely into the space around the brain.

The free-flowing blood puts pressure on the brain while reducing the amount of blood still flowing through the body. This can lead to the person falling into a coma, having a stroke or dying. With prompt medical treatment, it might be possible to minimize the effects of the aneurysm.

It is important to note that not all aneurysms rupture immediately. In fact, around 6 percent of this country's population might have unruptured aneurysms. Some aneurysms only cause a pinhole leak, which causes slow blood leaks. Others are more dramatic and lead to massive blood loss because the hole is so large.

The treatments for aneurysms range from very conservative if the aneurysm is diagnosed while it is still unruptured to invasive if the aneurysm has already ruptured. In all cases, prompt diagnosis by medical professionals can help to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

Source: American Association of Neurological Surgeons, "Treatment Options for Cerebral Aneurysms" Deepa Soni, MD and Jeffrey E. Thomas, MD, FACS, Dec. 28, 2014

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