Brain aneurysms are weak or thin spots on a blood vessel in the brain that can fill with blood. These are also called cerebral, intracranial or intracerebral aneurysms. More than half of brain aneurysms will never leak or rupture, but when they do, the results can be catastrophic. Up to three in 50 Americans have an undiagnosed brain aneurysm. It’s frightening to know that there may be a ticking time bomb undetected in your brain. When a brain aneurysm ruptures, the prognosis can be grim. And if medical treatment is not given promptly, the outcome becomes less and less likely to be a positive one for the patient. Brain aneurysm misdiagnosis and medical malpractice increase fatalities and brain damage. When proper diagnostic tests are not performed, symptoms are disregarded or test results misread, outcomes are worsened. This is the worst possible situation for a patient to find themselves in. Here’s why… Ruptured Brain Aneurysms Are Often Fatal When a cerebral aneurysm ruptures, it causes a subarachnoid hemorrhage which is bleeding into the space around the brain. This event, called SAH for short, is the worst-case scenario for a brain aneurysm sufferer and has a high mortality rate at onset and in the weeks following. While SAH can be caused by other medical conditions, 85% of the time it is caused by a rupture of a brain aneurysm. Once SAH starts, 15% of patients will die before being able to reach the hospital. If this has happened to someone you love, you may think it was inevitable. And it may have been. But in many cases, there are warning signs and symptoms. If your loved one reported the symptoms to their doctor or sought treatment for the warning signs and was ignored, this may be an instance of medical malpractice resulting in wrongful death. 46% of patients die after onset of SAH – usually within the first 24 hours. This means that roughly 31% of these people made it to the hospital and died while under a doctor’s care. If the aneurysm isn’t promptly repaired and a second hemorrhage occurs, the fatality rate jumps to a shocking 80%. Timely medical treatment is the only defense! While the risk of brain aneurysm increases with age, they can and do occur at any age. For example: SAH from brain aneurysm is a significant factor in maternal death during the third trimester of pregnancy. Rapid diagnosis and treatment of the ruptured aneurysm is necessary to save the mother’s life and prevent significant neurological or brain damage in surviving patients. Ruptured Aneurysms Can Be Fatal Even After Treatment Of patients that have a ruptured brain aneurysm, 25% will die from complications within six months of onset. This brings the total fatality rate of SAH up to over 70% – a staggeringly high mortality rate for any medical ailment. After a brain aneurysm ruptures, there is 33% risk of rebleed even after treatment. The greatest risk of rebleed is within two weeks of the initial SAH. With a rebleed, the risk of death is close to 70%! If vasospasm (constricting of arteries) occurs during treatment, the risk of rebleed and subsequent fatality increases. Misdiagnosis of Ruptured Brain Aneurysm Increases Fatality Risk In 95% of ruptured brain aneurysms, a CT scan will accurately diagnose the problem. This is a great diagnostic tool that can improve outcomes. However, if a CT scan is not performed, not performed promptly or the results are misread, this can lead to an avoidable fatality. Up to 25% of those with SAH are misdiagnosed or diagnosed far later than they should be. A lumbar puncture or spinal tap is a standard follow up diagnostic test even if the CT scan looks normal because it can show evidence of SAH. If this diagnostic test is not offered in addition to the CT scan, this may be an instance of medical malpractice. 12% of people who come into the hospital with SAH are not given a CT scan or given one too late for treatment to have the best chance of success. Any delays in performing diagnostic tests and starting treatment lead to a worse outcome for the patient, up to and including fatality. Brain Aneurysm Survivors Can Have Severe After Effects For survivors of SAH, roughly half will be left with permanent brain damage. More than 25% of survivors will have significant limitations on their lives and their ability to care for themselves. 46% of SAH survivors will have cognitive impairments that permanently affect their quality of life. Frequently, survivors of ruptured brain aneurysms with neurological deficits cannot go back to their jobs. Many are permanently disabled. More than 60% of survivors experience frequent headaches. More than 25% of people who had SAH may have resultant pituitary disorders including ovulation problems in women of child-bearing years. If you have a brain aneurysm that ruptures, there is a 33% risk that you will have another aneurysm that can result in a rupture. After a Ruptured Brain Aneurysm, You Need Answers If you have lost a loved one to a ruptured brain aneurysm, you should ask yourself if they received the best possible medical treatment. Were their symptoms acknowledged by the treating physician? Were proper diagnostic tests performed promptly – including CT scan, MRI, lumbar puncture or cerebral angiogram? Was treatment performed promptly? If you or your loved one survived the ruptured cerebral aneurysm but suffered damage including cognitive, neurological or physical complications, you have to consider whether these were avoidable. Simply asking for answers (if you are even able to) is often not enough. Doctors and medical professionals are trained to avoid blame. They may use words like “unavoidable,” “unintentional,” “undetectable” or “inevitable” to make it seem like what happened to you or your loved one was out of their hands when in fact, that may not be accurate at all. You should be able to trust that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals will always take the best possible care of you, but that doesn’t always happen and when it doesn’t, it may be medical malpractice. If medical malpractice occurred, those that were neglectful should be called to account for their actions in hopes that they will be less careless in the future. If you suspect, or want to know, if you or your loved one was the victim of medical malpractice in the treatment, delayed treatment or lack of treatment for a ruptured brain aneurysm, we may be able to help you get the answers you deserve. A reputable personal injury attorney with extensive brain aneurysm case experience like Rob Kornfeld is your best option for resolution and recourse. Brain and neurological damage resulting from a ruptured brain aneurysm are not reversible! While every medical circumstance is different, Mr. Kornfeld will fight for you and has been successful in recovering million dollar settlements for some of his brain aneurysm clients and is ready to help you today. Call now for a free consultation.